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Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik

Joint Journal of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in VDE and the Austrian and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering and the German Society of Biomaterials

Editor-in-Chief: Dössel, Olaf

Editorial Board: Augat, Peter / Habibović, Pamela / Haueisen, Jens / Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm / Jockenhoevel, Stefan / Knaup-Gregori, Petra / Lenarz, Thomas / Leonhardt, Steffen / Plank, Gernot / Radermacher, Klaus M. / Schkommodau, Erik / Stieglitz, Thomas / Boenick, Ulrich / Jaramaz, Branislav / Kraft, Marc / Lenthe, Harry / Lo, Benny / Mainardi, Luca / Micera, Silvestro / Penzel, Thomas / Robitzki, Andrea A. / Schaeffter, Tobias / Snedeker, Jess G. / Sörnmo, Leif / Sugano, Nobuhiko / Werner, Jürgen /

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Volume 59, Issue 5


Volume 57 (2012)

Effect of contraction force and knee joint angle on the spatial representation of soleus activity using high-density surface EMG

Aicha Reffad
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Department of Rehabilitation and Prevention Engineering, RWTH-Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
  • Université de Sétif 1, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electrotechnics, L.A.S Laboratory, 19000 Sétif, Algeria
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Kamel Mebarkia
  • Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Department of Rehabilitation and Prevention Engineering, RWTH-Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
  • Université de Sétif 1, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electronics, L.I.S Laboratory, 19000 Sétif, Algeria
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Taian M.M. Vieira
  • Laboratory for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
  • School of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Catherine Disselhorst-Klug
  • Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Department of Rehabilitation and Prevention Engineering, RWTH-Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-04-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2013-0072


The meaningful use of surface electromyographic signals (sEMG) is to find an electrode position and orientation in which the sEMG signals can be detected reliably. This becomes more challenging when muscles with pinnate fiber architecture are investigated. In this study, the effects of contraction force and knee inclination on the spatial representation of the soleus muscle activity on the skin surface have been investigated by using two-dimensional electrode grids. Four differently oriented bipolar leads have been calculated to identify not only a proper electrode location but also an adequate orientation of the bipolar lead. Relative measures have been introduced to compare changes in the spatial RMS distribution. It has been shown that in the case of the soleus muscle, bipolar electrodes should be placed on the lateral side. Additionally, the location of the electrodes should be rather proximal than distal, and the orientation of the bipolar lead should be 45° to the lateral side with respect to a line connecting the insertion of the Achilles tendon and the junction between both gastrocnemius heads. Our results have been used to identify adequate electrode locations and orientations in a muscle with such a complex architecture like the soleus muscle. Additionally, new parameters have been introduced, helping to analyze the resulting information about the spatial activation pattern in the soleus muscle.

Keywords: electrode position; multichannel surface electromyography; muscle topography; plantar flexion; soleus muscle


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About the article

Corresponding author: Aicha Reffad, Université de Sétif 1, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electrotechnics, L.A.S Laboratory, 19000 Sétif, Algeria, Phone: +0049 241 80 87011, +0049 152 13023674, E-mail:

Received: 2013-02-05

Accepted: 2014-03-26

Published Online: 2014-04-24

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik, Volume 59, Issue 5, Pages 399–411, ISSN (Online) 1862-278X, ISSN (Print) 0013-5585, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2013-0072.

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