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An active electrode for biopotential recording from small localized bio-sources

By Emil S Valchinov and Nicolas E Pallikarakis


BACKGROUND: Laser bio-stimulation is a well-established procedure in Medical Acupuncture. Nevertheless there is still a confusion as to whether it works or the effect is just placebo. Although a plethora of scientific papers published, showing positive clinical results, there is still a lack of objective scientific proofs about the bio-stimulation effect of lasers used in Acupuncture. The objective of this work was to design and build a body surface electrode and an amplifier for biopotential recording from acupuncture points, considered here as small localized bio-sources (SLB). The design is aimed for studying SLB potentials provoked by laser stimulus, in search for objective proofs of the bio-stimulation effect of lasers used in Medical Acupuncture. METHODS: The active electrode presented features a new adjustable anchoring system and fractionation of the biopotential amplifier between the electrode and the cabinet's location. The new adjustable electrode anchoring system is designed to reduce the electrode-skin contact impedance, its variation and motion artifacts. That is achieved by increasing the electrode-skin tension and decreasing its relative movement. Additionally the sensing element provides local constant skin stretching thus eliminating the contribution of the skin potential artifact. The electrode is attached to the skin by a double-sided adhesive pad, where the sensing element is a stainless steel, 4 mm in diameter. The fractionation of the biopotential amplifier is done by incorporating the amplifier's front-end op-amps at the electrodes, thus avoiding the use of extra buffers. The biopotential amplifier features two selectable modes of operation: semi-AC-mode with a -3 dB bandwidth of 0.32–1000 Hz and AC-mode with a bandwidth of 0.16–1000 Hz. RESULTS: The average measured DC electrode-skin contact impedance of the proposed electrode was 450 kΩ, with electrode tension of 0.3 kg/cm(2 )on an unprepared skin of the inner forearm. The peak-to-peak noise voltage measured at the amplifier output, with input terminals connected to common, was 10 mV(p-p), or 2 μV(p-p )referred to the input. The common-mode rejection ratio of the amplifier was 96 dB at 50 Hz, measured with imbalanced electrodes' impedances. The prototype was also tested practically and sample records were obtained after a low intensity SLB laser stimulation. All measurements showed almost a complete absence of 50 Hz interference, although no electrolyte gel or skin preparation was applied. CONCLUSION: The results showed that the new active electrode presented significantly reduced the electrode-skin impedance, its variation and motion artifact influences. This allowed SLB signals with relatively high quality to be recorded without skin preparation. The design offers low noise and major reduction in parts, size and power consumption. The active electrode specifications were found to be better or at least comparable to those of other existing designs

Topics: Research
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1186/1475-925X-3-25
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

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