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Dry electrodes made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber have been developed collaboratively by research organizations Holst Centre (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and imec (Leuven, Belgium) and Datwyler Sealing Solutions (Schattdorf, Switzerland), a supplier of sealing, closure and packaging systems. They are described as an alternative to conventional gel electrodes used for ECG and EEG monitoring as well as first-generation dry electrodes that cause patient discomfort.

PlasticsToday Staff

January 6, 2015

2 Min Read
Polymer dry electrodes enable comfortable, remote patient monitoring

Dry electrodes made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber have been developed collaboratively by research organizations Holst Centre (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and imec (Leuven, Belgium) and Datwyler Sealing Solutions (Schattdorf, Switzerland), a supplier of sealing, closure and packaging systems. They are described as an alternative to conventional gel electrodes used for ECG and EEG monitoring as well as first-generation dry electrodes that cause patient discomfort.

imec-300.jpgGel electrodes, which are typically used during patient treatment or diagnosis in hospitals, can irritate the skin and are inconvenient to apply and uncomfortable to remove. Dry electrodes have also been introduced that enable wireless monitoring within or without healthcare settings. Until now, however, they have been designed with rigid metal pins that are painful to patients.

The EPDM rubber dry electrodes have been engineered with various additives to optimize conductivity, flexibility, and fabrication. The polymer composition results in a skin-electrode impedance that is approximately 10 times greater than gel electrodes, according to the institutes. The electrodes are directly capable of recording strong ECG and low-amplitude EEG signals.

The polymer electrodes are coupled with an active circuit, allowing EEG recordings to be captured on imec's prototype wireless EEG headset (previously featured in PlasticsToday). They reportedly achieve performance levels comparable to existing metal dry electrodes while substantially improving user comfort.

"Wearable health monitoring holds tremendous opportunities in bringing healthcare to anyone, at any place, and at any time. Personal, predictive, and preventive care can improve one's quality of life in addition to saving lives," stated imec's Chris Van Hoof. "Imec and Holst Centre's cutting-edge technology, enabling highly accurate and noninvasive monitoring with clinical-grade functionality, paves the way for more efficient and better healthcare."

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