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Surface EMG

Biometrics Ltd EMG sensors and systems have been extensively researched and developed over a number of years incorporating the latest design principles and technologies.

The result is a versatile, state of the art range of EMG products which are reliable, accurate and easy to use.

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SensorsTaking EMG MeasurementsAnalysing EMGFilters OverviewAnalysis HintsEMG Systems

SX230 EMG Sensor in use with DataLOGWhen a muscle contracts, electrical activity is generated within the muscle which may be measured using electrodes placed on the surface of the skin.  This electrical signal is usually in the order of up to 3,000 micro volts and is referred to as electromyography or EMG.

Biometrics Ltd offer a technologically advanced yet cost effective range of EMG display and data capture systems offering both full portability and real time display and analysis options.

Biometrics sensors and instrumentation are used extensively in the fields of ergonomics, sports science and medical research where measurements of surface EMG are commonly taken for a wide range of applications such as:

  • Symmetry studies during gait
  • Timing data in Biomechanics
  • Work done and fatigue studies
  • Work environment and tool design
  • Sports performance
  • Neuro Rehabilitation
  • Education
  • Veterinary Science

Biometrics Ltd precision bipolar, differential EMG sensors are available in two versions - the SX230 has integral electrodes with a fixed electrode distance of 20mm and the SX230FW that uses disposable electrodes and has a variable electrode distance. Ninety percent of Biometrics Ltd customers use the SX230.

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SX230 EMG SensorSX230 EMG Sensor

The SX-230 is an active probe manufactured by Biometrics Ltd which provides superb quality of signal and ease of use. Unique to the design is the amplifier's input impedance of >10,000,000 M Ohms. This means in practice that little or no skin preparation is required and no conducting gels are required. To use the SX-230 EMG sensor simply apply the electrode to the muscle being measured using the die cut medical grade double sided adhesive tape (part no. T350). The quality of the signal received is excellent for both static and dynamic applications.

The SX-230 EMG sensor is extremely versatile, readily connecting to the portable DataLOG system and the tethered DataLINK system and K800 general purpose amplifier.

All three of these instruments can be used to:

As well as recording the EMG data, both the DataLOG and DataLINK systems provide software to software communication in real time via the included Microsoft Dynamic Link Library. This means that your EMG data can be collected in real time in third party software with a minimum amount of programming.

The DataLINK system and K800 amplifier can be interfaced to third party hardware, such as National Instruments A to D cards via the R2000i Analogue output cable.

R506 Wrist StrapWhen using the SX-230 EMG sensor with any Biometrics Ltd instrument, independent of the number of EMG sensors used at any one time, only one of the following ground reference cables is required:

R506 has a standard 4mm snap connector and comes with convenient elasticated wrist bands for ease of use. The R506 may also be used with proprietary reusable or disposable electrodes having a 4mm snap (part no. SEN3001).

R306 comes with a standard 2mm spring plug for connection to proprietary disposable electrodes with a 2mm spring socket.

The new Biometrics Ltd Analysis Software version 8.51 is one of the most powerful yet cost effective EMG display and analysis software tools available. The most commonly used EMG data analysis is included -Rectify, RMS, EMG Work Done, Integration, Mean frequency, Median frequency, Power frequency. Biometrics Ltd Analysis Software version 8.51 is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems.

SX230FW EMG AmplifierSX230FW EMG Amplifier

For applications where variable inter-electrode distance is desired, the SX230FW EMG Amplifier has the same superb signal pickup of the SX230. Instead of the integral electrodes of the SX230, the SX230FW has two flying wire leads for use with any reusable or disposable SEMG electrode incorporating a 4 mm snap. The maximum inter-electrode distance is 170 mm and the minimum distance is dependent upon the size of the electrodes used.

Surface EMG Electrodes SEN3001The SEN3001 surface EMG electrode may be used with the SX230FW. The SEN3001 is a small (22 x 28 mm) silver/silver chloride EMG electrode designed for single or multiple applications to the same patient/subject.

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Surface EMG Specifications


  Surface EMG Electrode SX230-1000 SX230FW Surface EMG Amplifier
Electrodes Integral dry reusable Two 4mm snap connectors on 100mm wires use with
reusable or disposable SEMG electrodes with 4mm snap
Gain Standard unit 1000 (100 also available)
Bandwidth 20Hz – 460Hz
Noise ‹ 5µV
Input Impedance > 10,000,000 M Ohms
Supply Voltage +3.50 to +5.5 Vdc
CMRR @ 60Hz (dB) > 96dB (typically 110dB)
Cable Highly flexible grade, length 1.25m (custom lengths on request)
Plug Direct connection to DataLOG , DataLINK or K800
Mass 5g (excluding cable and plug) 12g (excluding cable and plug)
Electrostatic Discharge Circuit protected

Biometrics Ltd EMG sensors, instrumentation, and software are designed with maximum versatility in mind:

  • up to 24 channels of EMG data display, collection, and analysis
  • adjustable sensitivity with full scales of 0-3mV, 0-1mV, or 0-300µV
  • user selectable sampling frequency set per channel up to 20kHz per channel, with total sequential sampling frequency of 160KHz per DataLOG
  • easily combine EMG data with other sensors such as goniometers and forceplates – Biometrics Ltd instruments are general purpose devices with each channel individually configurable for a variety of sensors
  • collect data real-time to the computer (or other data acquisition system) or store on Micro SD cards for later download and analysis
  • comprehensive Analysis software with real-time display and analysis
  • readily synchronize EMG data with other systems/software
    • input and output triggers for record start/stop
    • event markers for optical synchronization
    • analogue output cable to send data real-time as it is collected to other systems
    • DLL dynamic link library streams data real time as it is collected to third party software, for example LabView or video motion analysis system software
  • differential sensor with the highest input impedance in the industry minimizes noise to signal ratio providing superb signal detection
  • integral electrodes with fixed inter-electrode distance give consistent high quality results
  • set high and/or low thresholds per channel with audible and visual alarms for biofeedback

Ground Reference Cables

  Ground Reference
Ground Reference
Type Reusable
Cable Highly flexible grade, length 1.25 m Highly flexible grade, length 2 m
Application Connection to disposable electrodes
using a 2mm spring plug
Connection to reusable or disposable
SEMG electrodes with 4mm snap

Application Tape T350

Double sided medical grade, Die cut for ease of application (350 pieces per pack).

SEN3001 Surface EMG Electrodes

Single patient/subject use. Multiple reapplications (20 packs of 6 electrodes).