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Textile Electrodes: Influence of Knitting Construction and Pressure on the Contact Impedance.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) (2021-03-07)
Luisa Euler, Li Guo, Nils-Krister Persson
ABSTRACT

Textile electrodes, also called textrodes, for biosignal monitoring as well as electrostimulation are central for the emerging research field of smart textiles. However, so far, only the general suitability of textrodes for those areas was investigated, while the influencing parameters on the contact impedance related to the electrode construction and external factors remain rather unknown. Therefore, in this work, six different knitted electrodes, applied both wet and dry, were compared regarding the influence of specific knitting construction parameters on the three-electrode contact impedance measured on a human forearm. Additionally, the influence of applying pressure was investigated in a two-electrode setup using a water-based agar dummy. Further, simulation of an equivalent circuit was used for quantitative evaluation. Indications were found that the preferred electrode construction to achieve the lowest contact impedance includes a square shaped electrode, knitted with a high yarn density and, in the case of dry electrodes, an uneven surface topography consisting of loops, while in wet condition a smooth surface is favorable. Wet electrodes are showing a greatly reduced contact impedance and are therefore to be preferred over dry ones; however, opportunities are seen for improving the electrode performance of dry electrodes by applying pressure to the system, thereby avoiding disadvantages of wet electrodes with fluid administration, drying-out of the electrolyte, and discomfort arising from a "wet feeling".

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Agar, High gel strength, suitable for plant cell culture