Surface electromyography (sEMG) is the acquisition, from the skin, of the electrical signal produced by muscle activation. Usually, sEMG is measured through electrodes with electrolytic gel, which often causes skin irritation. Capacitive contactless electrodes have been developed to overcome this limitation. However, contactless EMG devices are still sensitive to motion artifacts and often not comfortable for long monitoring. In this study, a non-invasive contactless method to estimate parameters indicative of muscular activity and fatigue, as they are assessed by EMG, through infrared thermal imaging (IRI) and cross-validated machine learning (ML) approaches is described. Particularly, 10 healthy participants underwent five series of bodyweight squats until exhaustion interspersed by 1 min of rest. During exercising, the vastus medialis activity and its temperature were measured through sEMG and IRI, respectively. The EMG average rectified value (ARV) and the median frequency of the power spectral density (MDF) of each series were estimated through several ML approaches applied to IRI features, obtaining good estimation performances (r = 0.886, p < 0.001 for ARV, and r = 0.661, p < 0.001 for MDF). Although EMG and IRI measure physiological processes of a different nature and are not interchangeable, these results suggest a potential link between skin temperature and muscle activity and fatigue, fostering the employment of contactless methods to deliver metrics of muscular activity in a non-invasive and comfortable manner in sports and clinical applications.

Can Data-Driven Supervised Machine Learning Approaches Applied to Infrared Thermal Imaging Data Estimate Muscular Activity and Fatigue?

Formenti, Damiano
Secondo
;
Merati, Giampiero;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Surface electromyography (sEMG) is the acquisition, from the skin, of the electrical signal produced by muscle activation. Usually, sEMG is measured through electrodes with electrolytic gel, which often causes skin irritation. Capacitive contactless electrodes have been developed to overcome this limitation. However, contactless EMG devices are still sensitive to motion artifacts and often not comfortable for long monitoring. In this study, a non-invasive contactless method to estimate parameters indicative of muscular activity and fatigue, as they are assessed by EMG, through infrared thermal imaging (IRI) and cross-validated machine learning (ML) approaches is described. Particularly, 10 healthy participants underwent five series of bodyweight squats until exhaustion interspersed by 1 min of rest. During exercising, the vastus medialis activity and its temperature were measured through sEMG and IRI, respectively. The EMG average rectified value (ARV) and the median frequency of the power spectral density (MDF) of each series were estimated through several ML approaches applied to IRI features, obtaining good estimation performances (r = 0.886, p < 0.001 for ARV, and r = 0.661, p < 0.001 for MDF). Although EMG and IRI measure physiological processes of a different nature and are not interchangeable, these results suggest a potential link between skin temperature and muscle activity and fatigue, fostering the employment of contactless methods to deliver metrics of muscular activity in a non-invasive and comfortable manner in sports and clinical applications.
2023
2023
https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/23/2/832
electromyography (EMG); muscular fatigue; muscular activity; thermography; machine learning (ML)
Perpetuini, David; Formenti, Damiano; Cardone, Daniela; Trecroci, Athos; Rossi, Alessio; Di Credico, Andrea; Merati, Giampiero; Alberti, Giampietro; Di Baldassarre, Angela; Merla, Arcangelo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2144914
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