• PDMS–ZnO flexible piezoelectric composites for measurement of muscle activity

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    • Keywords


      Polydimethylsiloxane; zinc oxide; piezoelectric; composite; muscle activity; output voltage.

    • Abstract


      Measurement of muscle activity is important for muscle health monitoring, biomechanics studies, developing prosthesis, etc. This article describes a flexible piezoelectric composite material as a sensing element for measuring muscle activity. The developed piezoelectric material is a composite of olydimethylsiloxane and zinc oxide, and exists in monolayer and bilayer configurations. To test the piezoelectric properties in bending mode, a composite patch is attached to a cantilever beam setup. Peak sinusoidal voltage generated from the composite material due to the vibrating cantilever is found to be highest (1.5 V) for bilayer configuration with 30 wt% ZnO. For testing in axial mode, the peak output voltage from the material due to an impulse load is maximum (0.9 V) for the monolayer configuration of the composite with 30 wt% ZnO. The sensor consisting of a bilayer composite patch is wrapped around a specific muscle to measure its activity. The change in output voltage from the sensor is measured for increasing load and is then mapped to the corresponding value of elastic modulus of the muscle measured using a durometer. The sensitivity of the muscle activity measurement for biceps brachii and flexor carpi is found to be 3.826 and 1.245 V MPa$^{-1}$, respectively.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal 575025, India
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