Simulation of Motor Unit Action Potential Recordings From Intramuscular Multichannel Scanning Electrodes

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2020 Jul;67(7):2005-2014. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2019.2953680. Epub 2019 Dec 6.


Multi-channel intramuscular EMG (iEMG) provides information on motor neuron behavior, muscle fiber (MF) innervation geometry and, recently, has been proposed as a means to establish a human-machine interface.

Objective: to provide a reliable benchmark for computational methods applied to such recordings, we propose a simulation model for iEMG signals acquired by intramuscular multi-channel electrodes.

Methods: we propose several modifications to the existing motor unit action potentials (MUAPs) simulation methods, such as farthest point sampling (FPS) for the distribution of motor unit territory centers in the muscle cross-section, accurate fiber-neuron assignment algorithm, modeling of motor neuron action potential propagation delay, and a model of multi-channel scanning electrode.

Results: we provide representative applications of this model to the estimation of motor unit territories and the iEMG decomposition evaluation. Also, we extend it to a full multi-channel iEMG simulator using classic linear EMG modeling.

Conclusions: altogether, the proposed models provide accurate MUAPs across the entire motor unit territories and for various electrode configurations.

Significance: they can be used for the development and evaluation of mathematical methods for multi-channel iEMG processing and analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Electrodes
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons*
  • Muscle, Skeletal*