Refunctionalization of passive electromyographic electrodes to upper-limb prosthesis applications.

  • Bruna S. Morais Programa de Pós-graduação Interunidades em Bioengenharia, Universidade de São Paulo, SP
  • Dr. Samuel L. Nogueira Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, SP
  • Dr. Thiago L. Russo Department of Physiotherapy, Federal University of São Carlos, SP
  • Dra. Gabriela L. Santos Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Centro Universitário Alfredo Nasser, (GO)
  • Luisa F. G. Salazar Department of Physiotherapy, Universidad del Rosario, Bogota
  • Dr. Arlindo N. Montagnoli Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, SP
Keywords: Upper-limb Prosthesis, Myoelectric Signal, Electromyography


The rehabilitation potential of myoelectric prosthesis for upper-limb amputee led to its wide investigation in the last two centuries. However, its everyday use still faces several challenges, such as high cost of available commercial models and unsatisfactory functionality. Thus, the present work proposes the development of an upper-limb prosthesis, focusing on the myoelectric signal measurement system. The electromyography system was integrated to an adjustable armband with three measurement channels made with traditional disposable Ag/AgCl passive electrodes readapted as active dry electrodes. For purposes of performance evaluation and database creation, myoelectric signals were collected from 12 healthy volunteers performing daily activities using a bottle. It was verified the high influence at measurements of volunteer physical characteristics, especially those relating to physical fitness, amount of forearm skin or adipose tissue, and sweating. Furthermore, the electrodes also showed high sensitivity to positioning and movement artifacts at the electrode-skin interface. A database of myoelectric signals was created for future pattern characterization. The electromyographic armband performance was demonstrated by driving a claw-type prosthesis using direct control.