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Multi-electrode Electromyography Device for Imaging Skeletal Muscle

Improved measurement accuracy, faster generation of data and quicker diagnosis.

The Challenge

Conventional electromyography (EMG) measures activity generated within skeletal muscle. It uses a concentric metal needle which has a single recording surface at the needle tip.

The area of the recording surface is ~1mm which is smaller than a typical muscle motor unit. The resulting signal is therefore derived from a small subset of muscle fibres in a motor unit.

A consultant has to move the needle into many different positions. This is uncomfortable for the patient and takes time. Routine EMG interpretation can be highly subjective with poor diagnostic accuracy.

In a diffuse neuromuscular disorder, such as Motor Neuron Disease, the needle must be repositioned several times in each muscle. This increases patient discomfort and the time taken to acquire sufficient information to make a diagnosis.

The Solution

We have developed a multi-electrode needle with 32 channels. It is capable of recording skeletal muscle electrical activity from multiple sensing positions simultaneously from a single needle location site.

This technology offers:

  • improved measurement accuracy
  • faster generation of data
  • quicker diagnosis of neuromuscular conditions
  • reduced pain for patients during the procedure

The 32 channel needle makes the procedure more accessible. A junior clinician or nurse practitioner can conduct the examination. This can remove reduce the waiting time typical of a consultant appointment. Physiotherapists could also use it to assess rehabilitation progress.

The 32 channel EMG needle has been tested with healthy volunteers. We are preparing for a submission to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to allow clinical studies.

The electrodes are currently produced by biomedical engineers in our clean room facility. Scaling up manufacturing requires an external partner.

The Opportunity

We are interested in out-licensing the technology and/or identifying collaborative industrial partners.

We have a particular interest in:

  • expertise to develop the medical software/graphical display from the signal outputs
  • collaboration on needle manufacture

Intellectual Property Status

  • title: Probe Response Signals
  • application no: EP3361940 and US2018/0289277
  • priority Date: 14/10/2015
  • applicant: University of Newcastle upon Tyne 


Quote: KT164280

Dr Lynda Speed:

Business Development Manager