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Vol. 128, Issue 5, May 2011, pp.89-99




Development of an Eletromiograph and Load Cell for the Silent Period Generation and Measurement
in Myoelectric Signals of the Masseter and Temporal Muscles

Alexandre BALBINOT, Jeferson Figueró FEIJÓ

Instrumentation Laboratory (IEE)

Department of Electrical Engineering (DELET)

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) – 90035-190, Brazil

Tel.: +550215133084440

E-mail: alexandre.balbinot@ufrgs.br, feijo.jf@gmail.com



Received: 27 March 2011   /Accepted: 20 May 2011   /Published: 28 May 2011


Abstract: This paper presents the development of an experimental system for the Silent Period (SP) generation and characterization in the myoelectric signals of the masseter and temporal muscles derived from an impact on the jaw during maximal voluntary contraction. A load cell to monitor the mechanical stimulus intensity responsible for the SP appearance was developed. This load cell was adapted to the mechanic shooter to generate impacts on the jaw, and strain-gages sensors were used for acquiring signals from such impacts. The system consists of a computer, an analog-digital converter, an electromyograph of up to eight channels, a signal conditioner, and a ring-type load cell adapted to a mechanical impact generator called shooter in this work. Surface electrodes were placed on the right masseter, left masseter, right anterior temporal, and left anterior temporal. Individuals were asked to perform the voluntary muscles contraction. The shooter was positioned at a fixed distance of 5 cm from the individual’s jaw and fired to generate the stimulus. The output signal of the load cell was obtained simultaneously with the EMG signals of the masseter and temporal muscles. Incoming data from EMG and load cell were stored in a computer for further processing. This system was tested in three voluntary individuals and the results demonstrated that the system is suitable for this application, so it was able to generate, acquire, and measure the SP of the masseter and temporal myoelectric signals.


Keywords: Silent period, Electromyograph (EMG), Myoelectric signals, Load cell


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