A mechanomyogram (MMG) measured with a displacement sensor (displacement MMG) can provide a better estimation of longitudinal muscle stiffness than that measured with an acceleration sensor (acceleration MMG), but the displacement MMG cannot provide transverse muscle stiffness. We propose a method to estimate both longitudinal and transverse muscle stiffness from a velocity MMG using a system identification technique. The aims of this study are to show the advantages of the proposed method. The velocity MMG was measured using a capacitor microphone and a differential circuit, and the MMG, evoked by electrical stimulation, of the tibialis anterior muscle was measured five times in seven healthy young male volunteers. The evoked MMG system was identified using the singular value decomposition method and was approximated with a fourth-order model, which provides two undamped natural frequencies corresponding to the longitudinal and transverse muscle stiffness. The fluctuation of the undamped natural frequencies estimated from the velocity MMG was significantly smaller than that from the acceleration MMG. There was no significant difference between the fluctuations of the undamped natural frequencies estimated from the velocity MMG and that from the displacement MMG. The proposed method using the velocity MMG is thus more advantageous for muscle stiffness estimation.
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