A Coiled Carbon Nanotube Yarn-Integrated Surface Electromyography System to Monitor Isotonic and Isometric Movements

Publication Name

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces


A surface electromyogram (sEMG) electrode collects electrical currents generated by neuromuscular activity by a noninvasive technique on the skin. It is particularly attractive for wearable systems for various human activities and health care monitoring. However, it remains challenging to discriminate EMG signals from isotonic (concentric/eccentric) and isometric movements. By applying nanotechnology, we provide a coiled carbon nanotube (CNT) yarn-integrated sEMG device to overcome sEMG-based motion recognition. When the arm was contracted at different angles, the sEMG-derived root mean square amplitude signals were constant regardless of the angle of the moving arm. However, the coiled CNT yarn-derived open circuit voltage (OCV) signals proportionally increased when the arm's angle increased, and presented negative and positive values depending on the moving direction of the arm. Moreover, isometric contraction is characterized by the onset of EMG signals without an OCV signal, and isotonic contraction is determined by both EMG signals and OCV signals. Taken together, the integration of EMG and coiled CNT yarn electrodes provides complementary information, including the strength, direction, and degree of muscle movement. Therefore, we suggest that our system has high potential as a wearable system to monitor human motions in industrial and human system applications.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Australian National Fabrication Facility



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