Title: Assessment of the surface electromyographic activity of thigh muscles in males and females

Authors: Francesco Di Nardo; Alessandro Mengarelli; Elvira Maranesi; Laura Burattini; Sandro Fioretti

Addresses: Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy; Posture and Movement Analysis Laboratory, Italian National Institute of Health and Science on Aging (INRCA), Via della Montagnola, 81, 60127 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy

Abstract: Surface electromyographic (sEMG) signal is commonly used as input information to control robotic systems. sEMG signals vary from person to person; gender is a factor influencing this variation. The aim of the study is to detect gender-related differences in sEMG activity of main three thigh muscles (rectus femoris, RF, biceps femoris, BF and vastus lateralis, VL) during walking at comfortable speed and cadence. Statistical analysis of sEMG signals, performed in seven male (M-group) and seven female (F-group) adults, showed clear gender-related differences in VL behaviour and no relevant differences in the behaviour of RF and BF. F-group, indeed, adopts a walking modality with a higher number of VL activations during gait cycle, compared to M-group. This suggests a female propensity for a more complex VL recruitment, during walking. This novel information suggests considering separate approaches for males and females, in providing electromyographic signals as input information to control robotic systems.

Keywords: surface EMG; sEMG; electromyography; thigh muscles; rectus femoris; biceps femoris; vastus lateralis; statistical gait analysis; gender differences; EMG-driven control; muscle activity; males; females; biped walking; robotic exoskeleton; powered orthosis; robot control.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBBR.2015.079329

International Journal of Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics, 2015 Vol.3 No.3, pp.159 - 168

Available online: 23 Sep 2016 *

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