On the Feasibility of Using Textile Electrodes for Electrical Bioimpedance Measurements

Abstract: The application of textile electrodes has been widely studied for biopotential recordings, especially for monitoring cardiac activity. Commercially available applications, such as the Adistar T-shirt and the Numetrex Cardioshirt, have shown good performance for heart rate monitoring and are available worldwide. Textile technology can also be used for electrical bioimpedance (EBI) spectroscopy measurements in home and personalized health monitoring applications, however solid basic research about the measurement performance of the electrodes must be performed prior to the development of any textile-enabled EBI application. This research work studies the performance of EBI spectroscopy measurements when performed with textile electrodes. An analysis using an electrical circuit equivalent model and experimental data obtained with the Impedimed spectrometer SFB7 was carried out. The experimental study focused on EBI spectroscopy measurements obtained with different types of textile electrodes and in different measurement scenarios. The equivalent model analysis focused on the influence of the electrode polarization impedance Zep on the EBI spectroscopy measurements in the frequency range of 3 kHz to 500 kHz. The analysis of the obtained complex EBI spectra shows that the measurements obtained with textile electrodes produce constant and reliable EBI spectra. The results also indicate the importance of the skin-electrode interface in EBI spectroscopy measurement. Textile technology, if successfully integrated, may enable the performance of EBI spectroscopy measurements in new scenarios, which would allow the generation of novel, wearable, or textile-enabled applications for home and personal health monitoring