Effective treatment of movement disorders requires thorough understanding of human limb control. Joint dynamics can be assessed using robotic manipulators and system identification. Due to tendon compliance, joint angle and muscle length are not proportional. This study uses plane-wave ultrasound imaging to investigate the dynamic relation between ankle joint angle and muscle fiber stretch. The first goal is to determine the feasibility of using ultrasound imaging with system identification; the second goal is to assess the relation between ankle angle, muscle stretch, and reflex size. Soleus and gastrocnemius muscle stretches were assessed with ultrasound imaging and image tracking. For small (1° SD) continuous motions, muscle stretch was proportional to ankle angle during a relax task, but images were too noisy to make that assessment during an active position task. For transient perturbations with high velocity (> 90°/s) the muscle length showed oscillations that were not present in the ankle angle, demonstrating a non-proportional relationship and muscle-tendon interaction. The gastrocnemius velocity predicted the size of the short-latency reflex better than the ankle angle velocity. Concluding, plane-wave ultrasound muscle imaging is feasible for system identification experiments and shows that muscle length and ankle angle are proportional during a relax task with small continuous perturbations.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2019.8856501, hdl.handle.net/1765/123925
Conference 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2019
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Ossenkoppele, B.W. (Boudewine W.), Daeichin, V, Rodriguez Hernandez, K.E. (Karen E.), de Jong, N, Verweij, M.D, Schouten, A.C, & Mugge, W. (Winfred). (2019). System identification of ankle joint dynamics based on plane-wave ultrasound muscle imaging. In Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS (pp. 2111–2114). doi:10.1109/EMBC.2019.8856501