Electrostimulators and Muscle Fatigue: A Patent Review

Author(s): Mario A. Camarillo-Ramos, Roberto L. Avitia*, Marco A. Reyna-Carranza, Conrado García-González

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Mechanical Engineering

Volume 14 , Issue 3 , 2021


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Abstract:

Background: This work presents a review of international patents dealing with the measurement of the induced fatigue of electrical stimulators. Sometimes muscles cannot move or have limited movement because of an injury such as Spinal Cord Injury and are in need of therapy. A complement of such therapy is Electrical Stimulation. A device sends electrical pulses to the muscle in order to generate contractions. Such contractions also fatigue the muscle and can be detrimental if muscle fatigue is not considered as a measurable variable in such devices. The scientific community has made progress regarding this issue however, the literature lacks a review of international patents. Since patents are in the forefront of technological innovation, the current status of the international patents dealing with the measurement of induced muscle fatigue of these devices is addressed.

Objective: Identify data related to international patents involving Electrostimulators and their use for reducing muscle fatigue.

Methods: A search for international patents was conducted to evaluate Electrostimulators capable of measuring induced fatigue. Specialized databases for patents were consulted using the term “Electrostimulator” associated with “Muscle Fatigue”. Such databases are Patentscope (WIPO), USPTO, Google Patents and Espacenet.

Results: A total of 245 international patents were found, of which 31 met the inclusion criteria. Out of the 31 patents, 15 were granted to a University, 13 to companies and 3 to individuals.

Conclusion: Almost all the patents granted to a University have detailed information on how to reproduce them and can be used to develop new technology to address the issue with the induced muscle fatigue that electrical stimulation produces during therapy. Patents filed by companies have ambiguous details on how to reproduce them but some have information that in conjunction with the ones granted to universities, can be complemented. Patents in this area are scarce, which present an opportunity for organizations and individuals alike to further the knowledge in this area.

Keywords: Electrostimulator, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), muscle fatigue, Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation (TENS).

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Article Details

VOLUME: 14
ISSUE: 3
Year: 2021
Published on: 29 January, 2021
Page: [264 - 275]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/2212797614666210129145924
Price: $25

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