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Open AccessArticle

Textile Electrocardiogram (ECG) Electrodes for Wearable Health Monitoring

Ann and H. J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(4), 1013;
Received: 22 January 2020 / Revised: 6 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Biomedical Sensors)
Wearable health-monitoring systems should be comfortable, non-stigmatizing, and able to achieve high data quality. Smart textiles with electronic elements integrated directly into fabrics offer a way to embed sensors into clothing seamlessly to serve these purposes. In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring with sewn textile electrodes instead of traditional gel electrodes in a 3-lead, chest-mounted configuration. The textile electrodes are sewn with silver-coated thread in an overlapping zig zag pattern into an inextensible fabric. Sensor validation included ECG monitoring and comfort surveys with human subjects, stretch testing, and wash cycling. The electrodes were tested with the BIOPAC MP160 ECG data acquisition module. Sensors were placed on 8 subjects (5 males and 3 females) with double-sided tape. To detect differences in R peak detectability between traditional and sewn sensors, effect size was set at 10% of a sample mean for heart rate (HR) and R-R interval. Paired student’s t-tests were run between adhesive and sewn electrode data for R-R interval and average HR, and a Wilcoxon signed-rank test was run for comfort. No statistically significant difference was found between the traditional and textile electrodes (R-R interval: t = 1.43, p > 0.1; HR: t = −0.70, p > 0.5; comfort: V = 15, p > 0.5). View Full-Text
Keywords: smart textiles; e-textiles; wearables smart textiles; e-textiles; wearables
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Arquilla, K.; Webb, A.K.; Anderson, A.P. Textile Electrocardiogram (ECG) Electrodes for Wearable Health Monitoring. Sensors 2020, 20, 1013.

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