• Techniques and Methods for a multi-scale analysis of neuromuscular fatigue
  • Tecniche e metodi per un'analisi multiscala del fenomeno della fatica muscolare
  • Castronovo, Anna Margherita <1984>


  • ING-INF/06 Bioingegneria elettronica e informatica


  • This thesis proposes an integrated holistic approach to the study of neuromuscular fatigue in order to encompass all the causes and all the consequences underlying the phenomenon. Starting from the metabolic processes occurring at the cellular level, the reader is guided toward the physiological changes at the motorneuron and motor unit level and from this to the more general biomechanical alterations. In Chapter 1 a list of the various definitions for fatigue spanning several contexts has been reported. In Chapter 2, the electrophysiological changes in terms of motor unit behavior and descending neural drive to the muscle have been studied extensively as well as the biomechanical adaptations induced. In Chapter 3 a study based on the observation of temporal features extracted from sEMG signals has been reported leading to the need of a more robust and reliable indicator during fatiguing tasks. Therefore, in Chapter 4, a novel bi-dimensional parameter is proposed. The study on sEMG-based indicators opened a scenario also on neurophysiological mechanisms underlying fatigue. For this purpose, in Chapter 5, a protocol designed for the analysis of motor unit-related parameters during prolonged fatiguing contractions is presented. In particular, two methodologies have been applied to multichannel sEMG recordings of isometric contractions of the Tibialis Anterior muscle: the state-of-the-art technique for sEMG decomposition and a coherence analysis on MU spike trains. The importance of a multi-scale approach has been finally highlighted in the context of the evaluation of cycling performance, where fatigue is one of the limiting factors. In particular, the last chapter of this thesis can be considered as a paradigm: physiological, metabolic, environmental, psychological and biomechanical factors influence the performance of a cyclist and only when all of these are kept together in a novel integrative way it is possible to derive a clear model and make correct assessments.


  • 2014-05-09


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Castronovo, Anna Margherita (2014) Tecniche e metodi per un'analisi multiscala del fenomeno della fatica muscolare, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Bioingegneria , 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6274.