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Title: The Arch Electrode: A Novel Dry Electrode Concept for Improved Wearing Comfort
Authors: Vasconcelos, Beatriz 
Fiedler, Patrique
Machts, René
Haueisen, Jens
Fonseca, Carlos
Keywords: biopotential measurement; electrodes; biosignals; electroencephalography; electrode-skin impedance; additive manufacturing; electroless plating
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Project: German Academic Exchange Service (grant ID 57452734), European Union within Horizon 2020, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions H2020-MSCAITN- 2018 (grant ID 813483), and German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (grant ID ZF4112007TS9) 
FCT - grant ID PT/BD/128477/2017 
FCT - mobility grant in the frame of the Germany–Portugal bi-lateral cooperation agreement program (2019–2021) 
Open Access Publication Fund of the Technische Universität Ilmenau 
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Volume: 15
Abstract: Electroencephalography (EEG) is increasingly used for repetitive and prolonged applications like neurofeedback, brain computer interfacing, and long-term intermittent monitoring. Dry-contact electrodes enable rapid self-application. A common drawback of existing dry electrodes is the limited wearing comfort during prolonged application. We propose a novel dry Arch electrode. Five semi-circular arches are arranged parallelly on a common baseplate. The electrode substrate material is a flexible thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) produced by additive manufacturing. A chemical coating of Silver/Silver-Chloride (Ag/AgCl) is applied by electroless plating using a novel surface functionalization method. Arch electrodes were manufactured and validated in terms of mechanical durability, electrochemical stability, in vivo applicability, and signal characteristics. We compare the results of the dry arch electrodes with dry pin-shaped and conventional gel-based electrodes. 21-channel EEG recordings were acquired on 10 male and 5 female volunteers. The tests included resting state EEG, alpha activity, and a visual evoked potential. Wearing comfort was rated by the subjects directly after application, as well as at 30 min and 60 min of wearing. Our results show that the novel plating technique provides a well-adhering electrically conductive and electrochemically stable coating, withstanding repetitive strain and bending tests. The signal quality of the Arch electrodes is comparable to pin-shaped dry electrodes. The average channel reliability of the Arch electrode setup was 91.9 ± 9.5%. No considerable differences in signal characteristics have been observed for the gel-based, dry pin-shaped, and arch-shaped electrodes after the identification and exclusion of bad channels. The comfort was improved in comparison to pin-shaped electrodes and enabled applications of over 60 min duration. Arch electrodes required individual adaptation of the electrodes to the orientation and hairstyle of the volunteers. This initial preparation time of the 21-channel cap increased from an average of 5 min for pin-like electrodes to 15 min for Arch electrodes and 22 min for gel-based electrodes. However, when re-applying the arch electrode cap on the same volunteer, preparation times of pin-shaped and arch-shaped electrodes were comparable. In summary, our results indicate the applicability of the novel Arch electrode and coating for EEG acquisition. The novel electrode enables increased comfort for prolonged dry-contact measurement.
ISSN: 1662-4548
DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2021.748100
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Eng.Mecânica - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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