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Electromyography: Modeling Muscle Force

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​Electrodiagnosis broadly serves to test the functional and electrical capacity of the peripheral nervous system; testing includes nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG). In this activity we focus on EMG, modeling, and advanced data analysis. Conversation with a friend can bring up a question like, “What elbow joint angle is best for carrying a bag of groceries?” In this module, we explore how physical, pictorial, and mathematical models can help us answer this question, and we compare our models’ results to in vivo experimental results obtained from EMG analysis.  Our goal is to quantitatively justify our answer to the question.  Two different elbow joint angles will be examined for each model: 90 degrees and less than 90 degrees.  EMG allows us to estimate muscle force for the two different joint angles.  However, raw biologic signals are messy and require post-processing.  We will use filters and moving averages (smoothing) techniques to better identify trends in the data and draw conclusions.  After applying yourself and achieving the four goals of this module, you will be in a better position to 1) analyze other muscles groups and joints, 2) understand EMG graphs, and 3) explore the mathematics of data analysis such as used for smoothing data from sources of your choosing.

About the Presenters

​Sarah Rooney

Assistant Professor

Director of BME Undergraduate Program

Department of Biomedical Engineering​

Dr. Sarah Rooney is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware.  Before joining UD, her scientific research focused on musculoskeletal injury mechanisms and the beneficial and detrimental adaptations of tissue to load.  In particular, she studied how muscle and tendon respond biologically and mechanically to acute and chronic exercise and the effects of the commonly used pharmaceuticals ibuprofen and doxycycline on these tissues.  Her work aimed to provide a foundation to answer the bigger question, “How does exercise go from good to bad?” At UD, Sarah focuses on developing the undergraduate biomedical engineering curriculum by enhancing engineering education and bringing evidence-based teaching practices to the classroom.  She teaches a number of courses, including Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Biomechanics I, Junior Design, and Senior Design.  

​Adebanjo Oriade​​

Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratories​

Adebanjo Oriade has contributed to the curricular redesign of an undergraduate physical science course for non-science majors, SCEN 101. Under Dr. Oriade’s guidance, the high- and low-tech learning experience of SCEN 101 students is enriched with dynamic group interactions that augment student skills in prediction, data acquisition and analysis, and scientific communication through regular electronic poster conferences. Professor Oriade utilizes his background in computational condensed matter physics to engage in the challenge of designing, implementing, and assessing learning tools for science educational purposes. Much like moments in simulations of nanomagnetic films in his research, tools for student-centered learning present challenges in the spatial, temporal, and competing energies/objectives dimensions of implementation. These tools include project-specific rubrics that serve the needs of both students and graduate teaching assistants, design of group tasks, micro-experiment PBL, and development of ten new laboratory exercises grounded in the 5Es instructional model. He has also, in collaboration with others in the Dupont Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratories, developed and implemented Origami Science FabLab/Makerspace (SCEN 115). This unique course is designed for non​-science majors and employs Origami and paper sculpture manipulatives that enhance the active learning process of concepts rooted in science, art, and mathematics.

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Electromyography: Modeling Muscle Force
  • Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratories
  • 221 Academy Street, Suite 402
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-6400
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