OBJECTIVES: The upper lip's musculature comprises several muscle fiber groups with different spatial orientations for various lip movements. In the past, it has not been possible to describe these various groups and their motor units in detail with traditional methods of electromyography (EMG). The purpose of this investigation was to create a viable method for studying the architecture of upper-lip muscle fibers in patients with surgically closed cleft lip by refining the design of a flexible electrode array for multichannel EMG.
METHODS: Calibrated perioral photographs of 36 adult subjects were used to determine the basic geometry of an electrode array for use on different facial shapes. A total of 256 chloride silver electrodes, 1 mm in diameter, were distributed over this geometry to form a grid with interelectrode distances of 2.5 mm. Technical implementation of the electrode array was based on a modified technique used for flexible printed circuit boards. A double-sided adhesive tape with perforations was used to apply the array to the skin in the upper-lip area. Surface EMG signals were recorded while the subjects were performing various lip movements and exerting specific lip forces. The latter were recorded with a specially developed transducer.
RESULTS: Despite an extremely dense grid of electrodes associated with downsized contacts, the electrode array could be precisely applied to the perforated adhesive tape. The electrode array remained firmly attached to the skin even during extensive lip movements. The recorded EMG signals offered high baseline stability and a strong signal-to-noise ratio, thus, allowing us to extract individual motor unit action potentials (MUAPs). Spatiotemporal tracking of MUAPs succeeded in demonstrating the course of muscle fibers belonging to individual motor units. Pilot measurements taken on subjects with surgically closed unilateral cleft lip revealed an asymmetric distribution of muscle activity surrounding the closed cleft-lip segments.
CONCLUSION: Our refined noninvasive electrophysiological method is capable of providing detailed information about muscle fiber architecture and the position, size, and organization of motor units in the lip area. It is thus feasible to conduct further studies to analyze differences in muscle morphology and motor control between surgically treated cleft-lip patients and noncleft individuals.
|Tijdschrift||Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics = Fortschritte der Kieferorthopädie|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||1|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - jan 2014|