Our previous studies have demonstrated that the muscle thickness change detected by ultrasonography during contraction, namely sonomyography (SMG), can be used for functional assessment of skeletal muscles and has the potential for prosthetic control. In this study, we further investigated the feasibility of using one-dimensional SMG (1-D SMG) signal for controlling a powered prosthesis with one degree of freedom. The performance of SMG control in visual pursuit tracking of opening-closure patterns of the prosthesis was evaluated. Nine normal subjects including seven males and two females participated in the experiment. SMG signals were collected from the extensor carpi radialis muscle to control the opening position of the prosthetic hand. The subjects were instructed to perform the wrist extension movement to match the prosthesis response to the target sinusoid and square tracks under different movement rates as accurately as possible. The normalized root mean square (RMS) tracking error between the target track and the degree of the prosthetic hand's opening position, which was measured by an electronic goniometer, was calculated to evaluate the control performance. It was found that the mean RMS tracking errors of SMG control under different movement rates were 12.8 +/- 3.2% (mean +/- SD) and 14.8 +/- 4.6% for sinusoid and square tracks, respectively. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant differences in RMS tracking errors among the three movement rates (p = 2.0 x 10(-6)) and between the two target tracks (p = 0.007). The results suggest that SMG signal, based on further improvement, has potential to be an alternative method for prosthetic control.
Copyright 2010 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.