Wearable textile-based device for human lower-limbs kinematics and muscle activity sensing

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Khokhlova, Liudmila
Belcastro, Marco
Torchia, Pasqualino
O'Flynn, Brendan
Tedesco, Salvatore
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Lower-limbs kinematics and muscle electrical activity are typically adopted as feedback during rehabilitation sessions or athletes training to provide patients’ progress evaluation or athletic performance information. However, the complexity of motion tracking and surface electromyography (sEMG) systems limits the use of such technologies to laboratory settings and requires special training and expertise to carry out accurate measurements. This paper presents a new wearable textile-based muscle activity and motion sensing device for human lower-limbs, which is capable of recording and wirelessly transmitting sEMG data for several specific muscles as well as kinematic parameters, allowing outdoor and at-home use without direct supervision by non-expert users. In particular, this work is focused on the development and analysis of textile electrodes and garment design, as well as the definition of a proof-of-concept study for sEMG data recording. Obtained values were compared against average rectified values (ARV) recorded using a gold-standard conventional wireless sEMG system. Apart from one muscle (vastus medialis), the developed device showed overall promising results in the muscle activity sensing for lower-limbs, highlighting its possible use in the rehabilitation and sport performance fields. In addition, a washing test was conducted on the electrodes, where it was shown that the proposed textile electrodes maintained structural integrity and showed an acceptable level of electrical parameters deterioration when comparing pre and post washing characteristics.
Textile , Electrodes , Electromyography , Wearable , Smart garments
Khokhlova L., Belcastro M., Torchia P., O’Flynn B., Tedesco S. (2021) Wearable Textile-Based Device for Human Lower-Limbs Kinematics and Muscle Activity Sensing, in: Perego P., TaheriNejad N., Caon M. (eds). Wearables in Healthcare. ICWH 2020, 10-11 Dec., Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 376. Cham: Springer, pp. 70-81. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-76066-3_6
© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2021. Published by Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.