Textrode functional straps for bioimpedance measurementsexperimental results for body composition analysis


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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:Functional garments for physiological sensing purposes have been used in several disciplines, that is, sports, firefighting, military and medicine. In most of the cases, textile electrodes (textrodes) embedded in the garment are used to monitor vital signs and other physiological measurements. Electrical bioimpedance (EBI) is a non-invasive and effective technology that can be used for the detection and supervision of different health conditions. EBI technology could make use of the advantages of garment integration; however, a successful implementation of EBI technology depends on the good performance of textrodes. The main drawback of textrodes is a deficient skin-electrode interface that produces a high degree of sensitivity to signal disturbances. This sensitivity can be reduced with a suitable selection of the electrode material and an intelligent and ergonomic garment design that ensures an effective skin-electrode contact area.SUBJECTS/METHODS:In this work, textrode functional straps for total right side EBI measurements for body composition are presented, and its measurement performance is compared against the use of Ag/AgCl electrodes. Shieldex sensor fabric and a tetra-polar electrode configuration using the ImpediMed spectrometer SFB7 in the frequency range of 3-500 kHz were used to obtain and analyse the impedance spectra and Cole and body composition parameters.RESULTS:The results obtained show stable and reliable measurements; the slight differences obtained with the functional garment do not significantly affect the computation of Cole and body composition parameters.CONCLUSIONS:The use of a larger sensor area, a high conductive material and an appropriate design can compensate, to some degree, for the charge transfer deficiency of the skin-electrode interface.

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