Date of Award
Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics
Myoelectric prosthetics offer users increased functionality in many facits of their lives. However, maintaining reliable connectivity between sEMG sensors and targeted muscle locations can be problematic. Volume fluctuation of the residual limb, dirt, sweat, and movement of the socket and sensor over the limb can all because of signal disruption leading some users to find the myoelectric prostheses, costing thousands of dollars, to be unreliable, and stop using it. To increase connectivity between the optimal myoelectric sites and sEMG sensors, this paper proposes the use of permanent ink tattoos to create a stable location which a sensor can move over when a prosthetic socket shifts, but still have connectivity to sites with the strongest myoelectric signal.
This study proposes to start by testing various permanent bio-compatible tattoo inks for electrical connectivity in skin. Then test for optimal pattern designs in static and dynamic sensor scenarios to determine whether or not levels of myoelectric signals are higher and clearer (less electrical resistance in ohms) than unprepared skin.
This technique may provide benefits to those using surface EMG sensor who experience interruptions in myoelectric signals, preventing the performance of intentional prosthetic functions. This could also benefit the development of implanted EMG electrodes or neural implants, as a means to provide efficient signal transmission through the skin.