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Characterization Of Micromachined Spiked Biopotential Electrodes

P. Griss, H. Tolvanen-Laakso, P. Meriläinen, G. Stemme
Published 2002 · Materials Science, Medicine, Computer Science

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We present the characterization of dry spiked biopotential electrodes and test their suitability to be used in anesthesia monitoring systems based on the measurement of electroencephalographic signals. The spiked electrode consists of an array of microneedles penetrating the outer skin layers. We found a significant dependency of the electrode-skin-electrode impedance (ESEI) on the electrode size (i.e., the number of spikes) and the coating material of the spikes. Electrodes larger than 3/spl times/3 mm/sup 2/ coated with Ag-AgCl have sufficiently low ESEI to be well suited for electroencephalograph (EEG) recordings. The maximum measured ESEI was 4.24 k/spl Omega/ and 87 k/spl Omega/, at 1 kHz and 0.6 Hz, respectively. The minimum ESEI was 0.65 k/spl Omega/ an 16 k/spl Omega/, at the same frequencies. The ESEI of spiked electrodes is stable over an extended period of time. The arithmetic mean of the generated DC offset voltage is 11.8 mV immediately after application on the skin and 9.8 mV after 20-30 min. A spectral study of the generated potential difference revealed that the AC part was unstable at frequencies below approximately 0.8 Hz. Thus, the signal does not interfere with a number of clinical applications using real-time EEG. Comparing raw EEG recordings of the spiked electrode with commercial Zipprep electrodes showed that both signals were similar. Due to the mechanical strength of the silicon microneedles and the fact that neither skin preparation nor electrolytic gel is required, use of the spiked electrode is convenient. The spiked electrode is very comfortable for the patient.
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