Sensors and actuators. A, Physical | VOL. 340
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A biomimetic skin phantom for characterizing wearable electrodes in the low-frequency regime.

Publication Date Jun 16, 2022

Abstract

Advances in the integration of wearable devices in our daily life have led to the development of new electrode designs for biopotential monitoring. Historically, the development and testing of wearable electrodes for the acquisition of biopotential signals has been empirical, relying on experiments on human volunteers. However, the lack of explicit control on human variables, the intra-, and inter-subject variability complicates the understanding of the performance of these wearable electrodes. Herein, phantom mimicking the electrical properties of the skin in the low-frequency range (1 Hz-1000 Hz), which has the potential to be used as a platform for controlled benchtop experiments for testing electrode functionality, is demonstrated. The fabricated phantom comprises two layers representing the deeper tissues and stratum corneum. The lower layer of the phantom mimicking deeper tissues was realized using polyvinyl alcohol cryogel (PVA-c) prepared with 0.9% W/W saline solution by a freeze-thaw technique. The properties of the upper layer representing the stratum corneum were simulated using a 100μm thick layer fabricated by spin-coating a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), 2.5% W/W carbon black (CB) for conductance, and 40% W/W barium titanate (BaTiO3) as a dielectric. The hydration of the stratum corneum was modeled in a controlled way by varying porosity of the phantom's upper layer. Impedance spectroscopy measurements were carried out to investigate the electrical performance of the fabricated phantom and validated ag...

Concepts
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Simulated ECG Signal
Polyvinyl Alcohol Cryogel
Stratum Corneum
Hydrated Skin
Upper Layer
Wearable Electrodes
Skin Phantom
Freeze-thaw Technique
Change Of Porosity
Impedance Spectroscopy Measurements

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