Motion Lab Systems EMG Systems

The multichannel systems manufactured by Motion Lab Systems, Inc., are designed to reproduce the electromyographical (EMG) electrical activity present on the surface of the subjects skin. This electromyographical activity is produced by the actions of the motor proteins within the muscle during a muscle contraction.

The electrical signal detected on the surface of the skin from this contraction is in the approximate range of 0.01 to 0.00001 Volts. Our EMG systems record this electrical signal by placing a specialized electronic amplifier on the surface of the subjects skin, directly over the muscle of interest. The surface of the skin remains intact and is not broken by this method. The Motion Lab Systems EMG system amplifies the low level EMG signal, detected on the skin surface of the subject, to a level (+/- 5 Volts) that can be easily recorded by any third-party analog recording system. The Motion Lab System EMG systems provides electrical isolation of the subject from any third-party connected equipment.

Our EMG systems contain no software components and does not diagnose, measure or calculate any parameters from the detected EMG signal. The MA-300 does not contain a "measurement function" - it simply detects and reproduces the electrical signals present on the surface of the subjects skin.

Motion Lab Systems EMG equipment is designed for use in a Gait or Biomechanics environment for the clinical and research investigation of muscle contractions in walking and other daily physical activities. Our EMG systems are not designed for use in sterile environments or for use in the presence of anesthetic mixture with air or oxygen or with nitrous oxide or in the presence of other explosive gases or vapors.

We have been building EMG systems specifically for gait and motion analysis laboratories since 1987 and have hundreds of multi channel EMG systems installed throughout the world. Our new system is the result of several years’ developments to build an EMG system suitable for any lab - it is available in a range of three compatible systems with the ability to add additional channels to the six and ten channel systems.

  • MA-300-06 - Six EMG channels, eight event switch channels and four instrumentation channels.
  • MA-300-10 - Ten EMG channels, eight event switch channels and four instrumentation channels.
  • MA-300-16 - Sixteen EMG channels, eight event switch channels and four instrumentation channels.

All three EMG systems share a common set of features and differ only in the number of EMG channels that are provided. All of these systems can be used together on one subject without any changes thus two systems can record 22 channels (16+6), 26 channels (16+10), or 32 channels of EMG (16+16).

US FDA 510(k) clearance

All MA-300 systems have received US FDA 510(k) clearance (Sec. 890.1375) for use as a diagnostic electromyograph for medical purposes. A diagnostic electromyograph is defined by the FDA as:

A diagnostic electromyograph is a device intended for medical purposes, such as to monitor and display the bioelectric signals produced by muscles, to stimulate peripheral nerves, and to monitor and display the electrical activity produced by nerves, for the diagnosis and prognosis of neuromuscular disease. [21CFR890.1375]

Many EMG systems that claim to have US FDA 510(k) clearance without specifying that they have 890.1375 clearance, or claim to be exempt from the FDA 510(k) requirements usually only have FDA510(k) clearance for use as a biofeedback device (Sec. 882.5050). These systems can be used for research, biofeedback, and animal studies but should not be used for to perform diagnostic functions on human beings. A biofeedback device is defined by the FDA as:

A biofeedback device is an instrument that provides a visual or auditory signal corresponding to the status of one or more of a patient's physiological parameters (e.g., brain alpha wave activity, muscle activity, skin temperature, etc.) so that the patient can control voluntarily these physiological parameters. [21CFR882.5050]

Motion Capture System Compatibility

The MA-300 is very easy to setup and connect to almost any Motion Capture system that supports analog data recording. An optional real-time ADC can be added to provide real time EMG displays while simultaneously recording data on any other system without interference. The following highlights are important when working in a Motion Capture environment:

  • All MA-300 systems are suitable for both gait analysis and research projects.
  • All EMG channels are full bandwidth (backpack bandwidth is DC to 2,000Hz, -3dB).
  • All systems include support for up to eight event contact switches in addition to the EMG channels.
  • All systems include support for instrumentation needs with four extra research channels (DC to 120Hz, -3dB).
  • Anyone can purchase a small 6 channel system and upgrade later to 10 or 16 EMG channels.

Note that the electrical isolation provided by the MA-300 ensures the complete isolation of the subject from both the AC line and any third party recording system. The safety of our EMG systems is built into our product and is independent of any third-party system to which you connect.

Real-Time EMG

Any MA-300 system can be used with any modern Windows PC to record and view EMG signals. The convenience of a stand-alone system for viewing the raw EMG in real-time improves the overall quality of the subject data in almost any circumstances. Motion Lab Systems offers an inexpensive USB analog data collection system that is exceptionally easy to use and install.

EMG Software Included

We offer several EMG analysis packages that display the recorded EMG signal. The EMG Graphing software is included with every EMG system and provides the ability to open C3D files and raw EMG data files. EMG data can be displayed as raw, rectified, and enveloped and graphed by event period or gait cycle using the EMG Graphing software.

We also offer the a full EMG Analysis software and the Report Generation software for clinical EMG, kinematics, and kinetics as well as other software packages that allow the end user complete access to their data. All EMG data processed by our software is stored in the public domain C3D file format ensuring long term access to your data that is not determined by the availability of any particular software package.

Reliability and Standards

The reliability of our EMG systems is unchallenged with many of our original EMG systems still in use and supported after nearly twenty years with virtually no downtime. This is a claim that no other EMG system manufacturer can make - we know of no other EMG system manufacturer that even supports systems this old! All MA-300 systems are designed and tested to met international standards including CE, UL, CSA, IEC601 and the FCC Class B certification for use in any gait or research lab environment.

Easy to Use

A typical EMG session consists of locating the muscles that you wish to study and placing a pre-amplifier EMG electrode over each muscle. Gait studies often use event switches applied to the subject's feet to define the gait or EMG cycles and depending on the protocol, resting and maximum effort recordings may be made at this stage.

The subject then performs a number of walking trials or other muscle tests while the EMG and other parameters such as motion, force plate data, limb position (for example) are recorded. The data from each trial is then analyzed, compared to normal data, and printed reports generated for review.