A microfabricated electrode with hollow microneedles for ECG measurement

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260, Singapore
Sensors and Actuators A Physical (Impact Factor: 1.9). 04/2009; 151(1):17-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.sna.2009.01.020


This paper proposes a novel micromachined physiological recording electrode with hollow microneedles for electrocardiography (ECG) measurement. Compared to the standard commercial wet electrode, a unique characteristic of this device is that a hollow microneedle array, which is made of silicon, can pierce through the outer skin surface, lowering the electrode-skin-electrode impedance (ESEI) and eliminating the need for skin preparation. Furthermore, instead of the conventional electrolytic gel, NaCl solution is used to fill the hollow microneedles and the reservoir etched in the backside of the silicon die; it is more comfortable, easy to acquire and imposes no side-effects on human. Test results of this electrode showed that this device could acquire typical structures of ECG signal with high signal to noise ratio, which provides a potential for routine and repetitive measurement with convenience, and comfort for home health care management of aged population.

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    • "Fig. 8 shows some seconds of recording for the dynamic protocol of ECG tests. In particular, during gait (Fig. 8a), the shape of the ECG signal is perfectly recognizable: this result improve those obtained by Yu et al. in [18] [19] where only the R waves were visible and, consequently, only the heart frequency rate could be determined. "
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    ABSTRACT: Monitoring biosignals, such as in electrocardiography (ECG), electromiography (EMG) and electroencephalography (EEG), is important for a better understanding of the pathological and physiological conditions of human subjects. In clinical practice the recording of biopotentials is carried out in general with wet electrodes, considered as the golden standard, although they have shown some limits: (i) the susceptibility to motions artifacts, critical aspect in ECG and EMG monitoring, (ii) the time-consuming procedure to be applied in EEG examinations, and (iii) the inability to record biosignals in long-term applications. In the past years innovative solutions have been suggested, among which microstructured dry electrodes showed very promising features. This study represents a first technological assessment of a novel type of microneedles-based dry electrodes. In this paper it has been proved that these electrodes: (i) seem to allow a better electro-mechanical interface with human skin, (ii) have performance comparable to wet electrodes in recording EEG, EMG and static ECG signals, showing an improvement in the monitoring of ECG signal in dynamic conditions, and (iii) do not need the long-lasting skin preparation as wet electrodes for EEG applications, appearing easy to use and to apply. In conclusion, our microneedles based dry electrodes seem to be a promising alternative to standard wet electrodes for the recording of biosignals in clinical examinations.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Sensors and Actuators A Physical
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    • "In the past ten years microneedles are being object of several studies because of their versatility of applications in the biomedical context: in fact, usually arranged in array or matrix structures, they can be used in their solid form like electrodes for the monitoring of biopotentials, such as EEG [1], and ECG [2], and, either in their solid or hollow form, as part of transdermal drug delivery devices [3]. Manuscript received March 18, 2010. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010
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    ABSTRACT: Remote monitoring of vital signs is an important technique to ensure the health and life quality of a patient. A wearable monitoring system for low-cost and pervasive healthcare is proposed in this paper. The system, which comprises of wireless module, miniaturized electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor and photoplethysmogram (PPG), is able to measure and analyze physiological signs in real-time and with minimum disturbance on daily life. With Bluetooth communications, a phone is able to exchange data with the sensors deployed on body and display the ECG/PPG waveforms as well as the significant physiological variables including heart beat rate, oxygen saturation (SpO2) and systolic blood pressure. The wearability of the system provides great convenience and continuous healthcare service to the user.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010
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