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Design, fabrication and skin-electrode contact analysis of polymer microneedle-based ECG electrodes


Conor O'Mahony, Konstantin Grygoryev, Antonio Ciarlone, Giuseppe Giannoni, Anan Kenthao, Paul Galvin

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
Microneedle-based 'dry' electrodes have immense potential for use in diagnostic procedures such as electrocardiography (ECG) analysis, as they eliminate several of the drawbacks associated with the conventional 'wet' electrodes currently used for physiological signal recording. To be commercially successful in such a competitive market, it is essential that dry electrodes are manufacturable in high volumes and at low cost. In addition, the topographical nature of these emerging devices means that electrode performance is likely to be highly dependent on the quality of the skin-electrode contact. This paper presents a low-cost, wafer-level micromoulding technology for the fabrication of polymeric ECG electrodes that use microneedle structures to make a direct electrical contact to the body. The double-sided moulding process can be used to eliminate post-process via creation and wafer dicing steps. In addition, measurement techniques have been developed to characterize the skin-electrode contact force. We perform the first analysis of signal-to-noise ratio dependency on contact force, and show that although microneedle-based electrodes can outperform conventional gel electrodes, the quality of ECG recordings is significantly dependent on temporal and mechanical aspects of the skin-electrode interface.
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Status: 
Date Accepted for Publication: 
Thursday, 21 July, 2016
Publication Date: 
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Research Group: 
Tyndall National Institute
Open access repository: