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Technical aspects of mechnomyography recording with piezoelectric contact sensor

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The piezoelectric contact sensor has been widely utilised in mechanomyography (MMG). The authors aim to clarify the mechanical variables (i.e. acceleration, velocity or displacement) reflected by the MMG signal detected with a piezoelectric contact sensor (PEC), and compare the results with those obtained simultaneously by an accelerometer (ACC). To measure the acceleration-frequency response, a mechanical sinusoidal excitation of 5 to 300 Hz at a constant magnitude of 0.01 G was applied to the two transducers. The acceleration-frequency response of the ACC transducer was confirmed to be almost flat. The PEC without any restriction of the transducer housing (including the combined seismic mass) demonstrated a similar response to the ACC transducer. The PEC transducer output with restricted housing decreased with increasing sinusoidal frequency and an attenuation slope of −40 dB/decade and phase angle of −180 degrees. The voluntary MMG signal during isometric knee extension was recorded simultaneously with the two transducers. The amplitude spectral density distribution of the MMG from the PEC transducer was narrow and the mean frequency was approximately one-half that obtained from the ACC tranducer. The amplitude spectral density distribution with the PEC transducer resembled that of the double integral over time of the ACC transducer signal. The phase angle of the PEC transducer signal was different from that of the ACC transducer signal by approximately −180°. These results suggest that the PEC transducer acts as a displacement meter of muscle vibration. In addition, differences in the MMG frequency components relating to the transducer type must be taken into consideration when investigating the mechanical activity of muscle.

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Correspondence to K. Mita.

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Watakabe, M., Itoh, Y., Mita, K. et al. Technical aspects of mechnomyography recording with piezoelectric contact sensor. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 36, 557–561 (1998).

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