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Magnetic detectors follow muscle length. Utilizing a straightforward set of magnets, MIT researchers have developed an ingenious method of monitoring muscle movement. We hope this will allow amputees to maintain their prostheses more easily.

A magnet-based system

In two further publications, researchers have shown the precision and security of a magnet-based system. It can track muscle length during exercise. Studies conducted in animals show expectancy that this strategy can be utilized to assist people with prosthetic limbs retain their prosthetic limbs to better mimic natural limb movements.

“These current results display that this tool can be used beyond the laboratory to track muscle movements during natural activity. It also suggests that it does not cause discomfort,”. Said a research scientist at MIT and co-first author of both papers.

One study showed that turkey calf muscle length could be accurately measured while the turkey was running, jumping, and performing other natural movements. Other studies have shown that the tiny magnetic beads used in the measurements do not generate rash or other adverse effects when implanted in muscle.

Associate Fellow of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics at MIT and the McGovern Brain Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Herr is the senior author of both articles published today in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. His Thomas Roberts, professor of ecology, evolution, and biological biology at Brown University, is the senior author of the measurement study.

Nowadays, powered prostheses are commonly monitored using an approach known as surface electromyography (EMG). Electrodes are attached to the surface of the skin or surgically invested in the remaining muscle. Of an amputated limb to measure electrical signals from a person’s muscles.

Nevertheless, this method does not bring into account knowledge about muscle lengths and velocities that would help make prosthesis movements more precise.

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