Holter monitors have been used for decades for long term monitoring of patients’ ECGs. They can be uncomfortable due to all the wires, but the wet electrodes that are usually used to have a consistent electrical connection with the skin can be particularly aggravating. Researchers at North Carolina State University have unveiled a new dry sensor that can monitor ECG and EMG all day long with excellent accuracy even in situations when wet sensors are ineffective.
The device relies on elastic conductors made from silver nanowires embedded within a pliable polymer. There is no need for gel to be used to improve the contact, yet the sensor is more accurate than traditional Holter monitors and electrodes when the person being studied is moving. While dry electrodes have been developed by other research teams, Dr. Yong Zhu, the lead behind this project, believes that the new sensor “has better signal quality than most – if not all – of the existing dry electrodes.” Moreover, because the design of the device places the nanowires flush with the polymer, it’s more structurally sound and should work for long periods while being flexed and stretched.
The electrodes are compatible with existing ECG and EMG devices, don’t require any exotic materials, and are pretty cheap to manufacture. The researchers who developed them believe that the sensors have essentially proven themselves and are pretty much ready for production.
Study in RSC Advances: Wearable Silver Nanowire Dry Electrodes for Electrophysiological Sensing…