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Mechanical behaviour of condenser microphone in mechanomyography

Abstract

Condenser microphones (MIC) have been widely used in mechanomyography, together with accelerometers and piezoelectric contact sensors. The aim of the present investigation was to clarify the mechanical variable (acceleration, velocity or displacement) indicated by the signal from a MIC transducer using a mechanical sinusoidal vibration system. In addition, the mechanomyogram (MMG) was recorded simultaneously with a MIC transducer and accelerometer (ACC) during voluntary contractions to confirm the mechanical variable reflected by the actual MMG and to examine the influence of motion artifact on the MMG. To measure the displacement-frequency response, mechanical sinusoidal vibrations of 3 to 300 Hz were applied to the MIC transducer with different sizes of air chambers (5, 10, 15 and 20 mm in diameter and 15, 20 or 25 mm long). The MIC transducer showed a linear relationship between the output amplitude and the vibration displacement, however, its frequency response declined with decreasing diameter and decreasing length of the air chamber. In fact, the cut-off frequency (−3 dB) of the MIC transducer with the 5-mm-diameter chamber was 10, 8 and 4 Hz for the length 15, 20 and 25 mm, respectively. The air chamber with at least a diameter of 10 mm and a length of 15 mm is recommended for the MIC transducer. The sensitivity of this MIC transducer arrangement was 92 mVμm−1 when excited at 100 Hz. During voluntary contraction, the amplitude spectral density function of the MMG from the MIC transducer resembled that of the double integral of the ACC transducer signal. The angle of the MIC transducer was delayed by 180° in relation to the ACC transducer signal. The sensitivity of the MIC transducer was reduced to one-third because of the peculiar volume change of air chamber when the MMG was detected on the surface of the skin. In addition, the MIC transducer was contaminated by a smaller motion artifact than that from the ACC transducer. The maximal peak amplitude of the MIC and ACC transducer signal with the motion artifact was 7.7 and 12.3 times as much as the RMS amplitude of each signal without the motion artifact, respectively. These findings suggest that the MIC transducer acts as a displacement meter in the MMG. The MIC transducer seems to be a possible candidate for recording the MMG during dynamic muscle contractions as well as during sustained contractions.

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Correspondence to M. Watakabe.

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Watakabe, M., Mita, K., Akataki, K. et al. Mechanical behaviour of condenser microphone in mechanomyography. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 39, 195–201 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02344804

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02344804

Keywords

  • Mechanomyogram
  • Condenser microphone
  • Vibration
  • Mechanical response