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

Cooper, G, Barker, AT, Heller, BW, Good, T, Kenney, LPJ ORCID: and Howard, D ORCID: 2011, 'The use of hydrogel as an electrode-skin interface for electrode array FES applications' , Medical Engineering & Physics, 33 (8) , pp. 967-982.

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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
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre
Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Medical Engineering & Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1350-4533
Depositing User: Professor Laurence Kenney
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2011 15:30
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:08

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