Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Trejos, Ana Luisa


A lack of adherence to prescribed physical therapy regimens in improper healing results in poor outcomes for those affected by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the upper limb. Societal and psychological barriers to proper adherence can be addressed through the system presented in this work consisting of the following components: an ambulatory biosignal acquisition sleeve, an electromyography (EMG) based motion repetition detection algorithm, and the design of a compatible capacitive EMG acquisition module.

The biosignal acquisition sleeve was untethered, unobtrusive to motion, contained only modular components, and collected biomechanical and physiological sensor data to form full motion profiles of the following four degrees of freedom: elbow flexion—extension, forearm pronation—supination, wrist flexion—extension, and ulnar--radial deviation. The piloted sleeve simultaneously collected data from four inertial sensors, two electromyography (EMG) sensors and a flex-bend sensor. A visualization application was developed to present the information in a manner meaningful to the user.

As well, an EMG based motion repetition detector was developed for use within the system. It was validated using an existing database of 23 subjects with varying musculoskeletal health, achieving a success rate of 95.43%. This algorithm was modified for use with the sleeve, resulting in a 95% success rate. An electrode and analog front end module was proposed, relying on unique material structures and low-noise, precision sensing techniques.

The system prototype presented a resource-conscious tool for multi-modality tracking of elbow, forearm, and wrist motion, which could eventually be integrated into upper limb MSD rehabilitation.