A Novel and Clinically Feasible Instrument for Quantifying Upper Limb Muscle Tone and Motor Function via Indirect Measure Methods

Chieh Hsiang Hsu, Yu Chen Lin, Hsiu Yun Hsu, Hsiao Feng Chieh, Chien Ju Lin, Shih Fu Ling, Fong Chin Su, Li Chieh Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Quantifying muscle tone is often based on a tester's subjective judgment in clinical settings. There is, however, a lack of suitable tools that can be used to objectively assess muscle tone. This study thus introduces a reliable, clinically-feasible device, called the Arm Circumference Motor Evaluation System (ACMES), for quantifying the muscle tone of upper limbs without using mechanical torque transducers. Methods: While the ACMES conducts continuously passive arm circumduction motions, the voltage and current of the driving motor is transduced into torque values via a least square approximation. A torque sensor and springs with different spring constants were used for the validity and reliability test in the first part of this study. Fifteen healthy adults and two patients who had experienced a stroke participated in the second part, which was a clinical experiment used to examine the in-vivo test-retest reliability and to explore the inspection differences between healthy and patient participants. Results: The results showed that the ACMES has high validity (R2: 0.99) and reliability (R2: 0.960.99). The reliability of the ACMES used on human subjects was acceptable (R2: 0.830.85). The various muscle tone patterns could be found among healthy and stroke subjects via the ACMES. Conclusion: Clinically, abnormal muscle tone, which seriously affects motion performance, will be found in many diagnoses, such as stroke or cerebral palsy. However, objectively and feasibly measuring abnormal tone in modern clinical settings is still a challenging task. Thus, the ACMES was developed and tested to verify its feasibility as a measurement system for detecting the mechanical torque associated with muscle tone.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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