The use of hydrogel as an electrode-skin interface for electrode array FES applications

COOPER , Glen, BARKER, Anthony T., HELLER, Ben W., GOOD, Tim, KENNEY, Laurence P. J. and HOWARD , David (2011). The use of hydrogel as an electrode-skin interface for electrode array FES applications. Medical Engineering & Physics, 33 (8), 967-972.

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Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2011.03.008

Abstract

Functional electrical stimulation is commonly used to restore function in post-stroke patients in upper and lower limb applications. Location of the electrodes can be a problem hence some research groups have begun to experiment with electrode arrays. Electrode arrays are interfaced with a thin continuous hydrogel sheet which is high resistivity to reduce transverse currents between electrodes in the array. Research using electrode arrays has all been conducted in a laboratory environment over short time periods but it is suspected that this approach will not be feasible over longer time periods due to changes in hydrogel resistivity.

High resistivity hydrogel samples were tested by leaving them in contact with the skin over a seven day period. The samples became extremely conductive with resistivities reaching around 10-50 Ωm. The effect of these resistivity changes was studied using finite element analysis to solve for the stationary current quasi-static electric field gradient in the tissue. Electrical stimulation efficiency and focality were calculated for both a high and low resistivity electrode-skin interface layer at different tissue depths. The results showed that low resistivity hydrogel produced significant decreases in stimulation efficiency and focality compared to high resistivity hydrogel.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2011.03.008
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2011 10:40
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2011 10:40
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4117

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