A thin, flexible multielectrode grid for high-density surface EMG

B G Lapatki, J P van Dijk, I E Jonas, M J Zwarts, D F Stegeman

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132 Citations (Scopus)


Although the value of high-density surface electromyography (sEMG) has already been proven in fundamental research and for specific diagnostic questions, there is as yet no broad clinical application. This is partly due to limitations of construction principles and application techniques of conventional electrode array systems. We developed a thin, highly flexible, two-dimensional multielectrode sEMG grid, which is manufactured by using flexprint techniques. The material used as electrode carrier (Polyimid, 50 microm thick) allows grids to be cut out in any required shape or size. One universal grid version can therefore be used for many applications, thereby reducing costs. The reusable electrode grid is attached to the skin by using specially prepared double-sided adhesive tape, which allows the selective application of conductive cream only directly below the detection surfaces. To explore the practical possibilities, this technique was applied in single motor unit analysis of the facial musculature. The high mechanical flexibility allowed the electrode grid to follow the skin surface even in areas with very uneven contours, resulting in good electrical connections in the whole recording area. The silverchloride surfaces of the electrodes and their low electrode-to-skin impedances guaranteed high baseline stability and a low signal noise level. The electrode-to-skin attachment proved to withstand saliva and great tensile forces due to mimic contractions. The inexpensive, universally adaptable and minimally obstructive sensor allows the principal advantages of high-density sEMG to be extended to all skeletal muscles accessible from the skin surface and may lay the foundation for more broad clinical application of this noninvasive, two-dimensional sEMG technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-336
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrodes
  • Electromyography/instrumentation
  • Face
  • Facial Muscles/innervation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons/physiology


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