What is HD-EMG?

High Density or High Definition electromyography is a non-invasive research technique for extracting information from the neuromuscular system. It is based on a large number (32, 64 or more) of small surface electrodes equally spaced applied on the same muscle or on a muscle group. Using many electrodes permits you to have many observation points on the muscle activity as well as algorithms that give you the possibility to extract physiological information. Our devices have been designed specifically for this purpose. There are portable and wearable devices, such as the sessantaquattro, muovi or muovi+ with up to 64 surface EMG channels and desk devices like the quattrocento with up to 384 surface EMG channels.

What kind of data can be extracted?

The most interesting data is that of the motor neuron impulses. Starting from the surface signals, acquired with HD-EMG, it is possible to decompose and extract the single impulses generated by the motor neurons to obtain muscle contraction. Two-dimension activation maps let you see, in real-time or offline, the intensity and distribution activity of the muscle, or muscle group. The muscle conduction velocity can be estimated to provide information about the type of active muscle fibers. All these algorithms come from research publications and our strict collaboration with research groups and universities allow us to make them available for other researchers by including them into our free software OTBIOLAB23

Are there specific applications for HD-EMG?

Currently the main application is for research use, from basic research to human-machine interfaces. There are no commercially available devices for the end user based on HD-EMG, but the HD-EMG is used for design tuning EMG based devices for: - controlling prosthesis
- interacting with computers, tablets and smartphones in a more effective and intuitive way
- predicting movements where the reaction time is important
Or, in research for: - comparing the central nervous system behavior in able body subjects and subjects with pathologies
- understanding how the neuromuscular system develops in infants
- evaluating the effect of a training or a rehabilitation program We collaborate in research projects designing HD-electrodes or hardware for specific purposes. Sometimes the new designs became part of our catalog or commercialized by other companies.