Towards real-time estimation of muscle-fiber conduction velocity using delay-locked loop


Xu, L., Rabotti, C. & Mischi, M. (2016). Towards real-time estimation of muscle-fiber conduction velocity using delay-locked loop. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 25(9), 1453-1460. In Scopus Cited 2 times.

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Decrease in muscle-fiber conduction velocity (MFCV) during sustained contraction has been widely accepted as myoelectric manifestation of muscle fatigue. Several methods have been proposed in the literature for MFCV estimation by analysing surface electromyography (EMG), e.g., cross-correlation (CC) function and maximum likelihood (ML). However, for all the available methods, windowing of the EMG signal and computationally demanding calculations are required, limiting the possibility to continuously monitor muscle fatigue in real time. In the present study, an adaptive scheme is proposed that permits real-time estimation of MFCV. The proposed scheme is based on a delay-locked loop (DLL). A second-order loop is adopted to track the delay variation over time. An error filter is employed to approximate a ML estimation in case of colored noise. Furthermore, the DLL system is extended for multichannel CV estimation. The performance of the proposed method is evaluated by both dedicated simulations and real EMG signals. Our results show the accuracy of the proposed method to be comparable to that of the ML method for much lower (1/40) computational complexity, especially suited for real-time MFCV measurements. Use of this method can enable new studies on myoelectric fatigue, possibly leading to new insight on the underlying physiological processes.