LISiN: Foundation and Objectives
The Laboratory for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System (LISiN) was established in September 1996 and inaugurated January 7 1997 by the President of the Region of Piemonte and the Major of the city of Torino, Italy. It was the natural evolution and translation of a decade of research carried out in this field by Prof. Roberto Merletti, in part at Politecnico di Torino and in part at the Neuromuscular Research Center of Boston University with the group led by Prof. Carlo De Luca.
The purpose of LISiN was to carry out research, teaching and translation of results to clinical institutions and schools in the fields of neuromuscular physiology, movement sciences, pathology and rehabilitation, by involving life scientists, professors and students operating in these fields. Financial support was initially received from the Regional Administration, the local Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry for University and Research and, later, from the European Union, the Italian and the European Space Agencies, and two local Bank Foundations (see Main LISiN Projects). Over 50 biomedical or electronic engineering students developed their thesis at LISiN and fourteen researchers obtained their PhD at LISiN (1997-2015). Most of them successfully continued their research in other countries.
Every year, from 1997 to 2015, a bilingual (Italian and English) Annual Report was published and distributed in Italy and abroad. Its purpose was to inform other researchers and the supporting agencies about the work done and share the results with them (see Annual Reports). The main LISiN contributions in this period were a) specific advances in the fields of hardware development and signal processing, b) feature extraction and c) decomposition of the sEMG signal into the constituent trains of motor unit action potentials. Three textbooks and more than 100 international articles were published in English in these years.
The project “Motor control and surface EMG: development of models and teaching instruments (COMES)” aiming at the translation of results was promoted in 2017 in collaboration with the Italian Association of Physiotherapists (AIFI) and with the contribution of three of its members (Valter Devecchi, Riccardo Panero, Kamila Leskaj). The final report (partially bilingual) is available from https://www.robertomerletti.it/assets/pdfs/comes_rapporto_finale.pdf.
A fall-out of LISiN’s activities is the editorial project promoted by Frontiers in Neurology/Neurorehabilitation on “Surface Electromyography: Barriers limiting widespread use of sEMG in clinical assessment and neurorehabilitation”. https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/11157 This editorial project hosts 18 contributions from 7 countries and 74 authors (29 engineers, 16 MDs, 17 physical or occupational therapists, 12 movement scientists) who represent a community of highly respected experts in the many fields of sEMG.
On-line bilingual teaching initiatives, mostly oriented to physiotherapists and movement scientists, are presented on this website under “Teaching material (clinical)” and “Teaching material (technical)”. Teaching material and lectures are also contributed by foreign teachers in the field.
LISiN is now continuing along these lines under the leadership of Prof. Marco Gazzoni (marco.gazzoni@polito .it). Its website is www.lisin.polito.it.