Reducing the sensation of electrical stimulation with dry electrodes by using an array of constant current sources

SOLOMONS, Cassandra, SLOVAK, Martin, HELLER, Ben and BARKER, Anthony (2017). Reducing the sensation of electrical stimulation with dry electrodes by using an array of constant current sources. Medical Engineering & Physics, 51, 91-95.

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Hydrogel electrodes are commonly used for functional and other electrical stimulation applications since the hydrogel layer has been shown to considerably reduce the perception of stimulation compared to dry electrodes. However, these hydrogel electrodes must be changed regularly as they dry out or become contaminated with skin cells and sweat products, thus losing their adhesiveness and resistive properties. Dry electrodes are longer lasting but are more uncomfortable due to unequal current distribution (current hogging). We hypothesize that if current through a dry electrode is equally shared amongst an array of small sub-electrodes, current hogging and thus the sensitivity perceived due to stimulation will be reduced. We constructed an 8 x 8 array of millimetre sized dry electrodes that could either be activated as individual current sources, or together as one large source. A study was performed with 13 participants to investigate the differences in sensation between the two modes of operation. The results showed that 12 out of 13 participants found the new (distributed-constant-current) approach allowed higher stimulation for the same sensation. The differences in sensation between single and multiple sources became larger with higher intensity levels.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dry electrodes; electrical stimulation; array stimulation
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 91-95
Depositing User: Ben Heller
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 16:49
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:21

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