Electroactive polymer-based devices for e-textiles in biomedicine.
ABSTRACT This paper describes the early conception and latest developments of electroactive polymer (EAP)-based sensors, actuators, electronic components, and power sources, implemented as wearable devices for smart electronic textiles (e-textiles). Such textiles, functioning as multifunctional wearable human interfaces, are today considered relevant promoters of progress and useful tools in several biomedical fields, such as biomonitoring, rehabilitation, and telemedicine. After a brief outline on ongoing research and the first products on e-textiles under commercial development, this paper presents the most highly performing EAP-based devices developed by our lab and other research groups for sensing, actuation, electronics, and energy generation/storage, with reference to their already demonstrated or potential applicability to electronic textiles.
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ABSTRACT: Electrode properties are key to the quality of measured biopotential signals. Ubiquitous health care systems require long-term monitoring of biopotential signals from normal volunteers and patients in home or hospital environments. In these settings it is appropriate to use dry textile electrode networks for monitoring purposes, rather than the gel or saline-sponge skin interfaces used with Ag/AgCl electrodes. In this study, we report performance test results of two different electrospun conductive nanofiber webs, and three metal plated fabrics. We evaluated contact impedance, step response, noise and signal fidelity performance indices for all five dry electrodes, and compared them to those of conventional Ag/AgCl electrodes. Overall, we found nanofiber web electrodes matched Ag/AgCl electrode performance more closely than metal plated fabric electrodes, with the contact resistance and capacitance of Ag plated PVDF nanofiber web electrodes being most similar to Ag/AgCl over the 10 Hz to 500 kHz frequency range. We also observed that step responses of all three metal-plated fabrics were poorer than those for nanofiber web electrodes and Ag/AgCl. Further, noise standard deviation and noise power spectral densities were generally lower in nanofiber web electrodes than metal plated fabrics; and waveform fidelity of ECG-like traces recorded from nanofiber web electrodes was higher than for metal plated fabrics. We recommend textile nanofiber web electrodes in applications where flexibility, comfort and durability are required in addition to good electrical characteristics.IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems 04/2013; 7(2):204-11. DOI:10.1109/TBCAS.2012.2201154 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Efficient connection of multiple electrodes to the body for impedance measurement and voltage monitoring applications is of critical importance to measurement quality and practicality. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) experiments have generally required a cumbersome procedure to attach the multiple electrodes needed in EIT. Once placed, these electrodes must then maintain good contact with the skin during measurements that may last several hours. There is usually also the need to manage the wires that run between the electrodes and the EIT system. These problems become more severe as the number of electrodes increases, and may limit the practicality and portability of this imaging method. There have been several trials describing human-electrode interfaces using configurations such as electrode belts, helmets or rings. In this paper, we describe an electrode belt we developed for long-term EIT monitoring of human lung ventilation. The belt included 16 embossed electrodes that were designed to make good contact with the skin. The electrodes were fabricated using an Ag-plated PVDF nanofiber web and metallic threads. A large contact area and padding were used behind each electrode to improve subject comfort and reduce contact impedances. The electrodes were incorporated, equally spaced, into an elasticated fabric belt. We tested the electrode belt in conjunction with the KHU Mark1 multi-frequency EIT system, and demonstrate time-difference images of phantoms and human subjects during normal breathing and running. We found that the Ag-plated PVDF nanofiber web electrodes were suitable for long-term measurement because of their flexibility and durability. Moreover, the contact impedance and stability of the Ag-plated PVDF nanofiber web electrodes were found to be comparable to similarly tested Ag/AgCl electrodes.Physiological Measurement 09/2012; 33(10):1603-16. DOI:10.1088/0967-3334/33/10/1603 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) is a steadily growing area of research. While initially BCI research was focused on applications for paralyzed patients, increasingly more alternative applications in healthy human subjects are proposed and investigated. In particular, monitoring of mental states and decoding of covert user states have seen a strong rise of interest. Here, we present some examples of such novel applications which provide evidence for the promising potential of BCI technology for non-medical uses. Furthermore, we discuss distinct methodological improvements required to bring non-medical applications of BCI technology to a diversity of layperson target groups, e.g., ease of use, minimal training, general usability, short control latencies.Frontiers in Neuroscience 12/2010; 4:198. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2010.00198