Mechanomyogram for Muscle Function Assessment: a Review

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Mechanomyogram for Muscle Function Assessment: A Review
Md. Anamul Islam*, Kenneth Sundaraj, R. Badlishah Ahmad, Nizam Uddin Ahamed AI-Rehab Research Group, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Kompleks Pauh Putra, Arau, Perlis, Malaysia

Abstract
Background: Mechanomyography (MMG) has been extensively applied in clinical and experimental practice to examine muscle characteristics including muscle function (MF), prosthesis and/or switch control, signal processing, physiological exercise, and medical rehabilitation. Despite several existing MMG studies of MF, there has not yet been a review of these. This study aimed to determine the current status on the use of MMG in measuring the conditions of MFs. Methodology/Principal Findings: Five electronic databases were extensively searched for potentially eligible studies published between 2003 and 2012. Two authors independently assessed selected articles using an MS-Word based form created for this review. Several domains (name of muscle, study type, sensor type, subject’s types, muscle contraction, measured parameters, frequency range, hardware and software, signal processing and statistical analysis, results, applications, authors’ conclusions and recommendations for future work) were extracted for further analysis. From a total of 2184 citations 119 were selected for full-text evaluation and 36 studies of MFs were identified. The systematic results find sufficient evidence that MMG may be used for assessing muscle fatigue, strength, and balance. This review also provides reason to believe that MMG may be used to examine muscle actions during movements and for monitoring muscle activities under various types of exercise paradigms. Conclusions/Significance: Overall judging from the increasing number of articles in recent years, this review reports sufficient evidence that MMG is increasingly being used in different aspects of MF. Thus, MMG may be applied as a useful tool to examine diverse conditions of muscle activity. However, the existing studies which examined MMG for MFs were confined to a small sample size of healthy population. Therefore, future work is needed to investigate MMG, in examining MFs between a sufficient number of healthy subjects and neuromuscular patients. Citation: Islam MA, Sundaraj K, Ahmad RB, Ahamed NU (2013) Mechanomyogram for Muscle Function Assessment: A Review. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58902. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058902 Editor: William Phillips, University of Sydney, Australia Received August 17, 2012; Accepted February 8, 2013; Published March 11, 2013 Copyright: ß 2013 Islam et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: There is no specific sponsors or funds for this study. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. * E-mail: anamulislam.phd@gmail.co

Introduction
Researchers are exploring to set suitable methods to examine muscles’ activities noninvasively; these methods for example, include surface electromyogram (sEMG) [1,2], sonomyogram (SMG) [3,4], tensiomyogram (TMG) [5,6], and mechanomyogram (MMG) [7,8]. Although the widely used sEMG has attracted attention for decades as a reliable tool for the assessment of skeletal muscles, it has some drawbacks. sEMG is sensitive to external noise and interference, which limits its operating environment and range of application [9]. In addition, sEMG sensor requires low noise and a very stable signal component [9]. Furthermore, signal processing and analysis is complex [9,10]. It is also expensive, since it requires three electrodes for differential recordings [9]. Conversely, MMG has been proposed as another tool to study muscle mechanical activity [11]. The term mechanomyography represents a technique by which the mechanical activity of muscle is detected...
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