Objective. Wearable devices have created new opportunities in healthcare and sport sciences by unobtrusively monitoring physiological signals. Textile polymer-based electrodes proved to be effective in detecting electrophysiological potentials but suffer mechanical fragility and low stretch resistance. The goal of this research is to develop and validate in dynamic conditions cost-effective and easily manufacturable electrodes characterized by adequate robustness and signal quality. Methods. We here propose an optimized screen printing technique for the fabrication of PEDOT:PSS-based textile electrodes directly into finished stretchable garments for surface electromyography (sEMG) applications. A sensorised stretchable leg sleeve was developed, targeting five muscles of interest in rehabilitation and sport science. An experimental validation was performed to assess the accuracy of signal detection during dynamic exercises, including sit-to-stand, leg extension, calf raise, walking, and cycling. Results. The electrodes can resist up to 500 stretch cycles. Tests on five subjects revealed excellent contact impedance, and cross-correlation between sEMG envelopes simultaneously detected from the leg muscles by the textile and Ag/AgCl electrodes was generally greater than 0.9, which proves that it is possible to obtain good quality signals with performance comparable with disposable electrodes. Conclusions. An effective technique to embed polymer-based electrodes in stretchable smart garments was presented, revealing good performance for dynamic sEMG detections. Significance. The achieved results pave the way to the integration of unobtrusive electrodes, obtained by screen printing of conductive polymers, into technical fabrics for rehabilitation and sport monitoring, and in general where the detection of sEMG in dynamic conditions is necessary.

Dynamic surface electromyography using stretchable screen-printed textile electrodes

Spanu A.
;
Zedda A.;Bonfiglio A.;Pani D.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Objective. Wearable devices have created new opportunities in healthcare and sport sciences by unobtrusively monitoring physiological signals. Textile polymer-based electrodes proved to be effective in detecting electrophysiological potentials but suffer mechanical fragility and low stretch resistance. The goal of this research is to develop and validate in dynamic conditions cost-effective and easily manufacturable electrodes characterized by adequate robustness and signal quality. Methods. We here propose an optimized screen printing technique for the fabrication of PEDOT:PSS-based textile electrodes directly into finished stretchable garments for surface electromyography (sEMG) applications. A sensorised stretchable leg sleeve was developed, targeting five muscles of interest in rehabilitation and sport science. An experimental validation was performed to assess the accuracy of signal detection during dynamic exercises, including sit-to-stand, leg extension, calf raise, walking, and cycling. Results. The electrodes can resist up to 500 stretch cycles. Tests on five subjects revealed excellent contact impedance, and cross-correlation between sEMG envelopes simultaneously detected from the leg muscles by the textile and Ag/AgCl electrodes was generally greater than 0.9, which proves that it is possible to obtain good quality signals with performance comparable with disposable electrodes. Conclusions. An effective technique to embed polymer-based electrodes in stretchable smart garments was presented, revealing good performance for dynamic sEMG detections. Significance. The achieved results pave the way to the integration of unobtrusive electrodes, obtained by screen printing of conductive polymers, into technical fabrics for rehabilitation and sport monitoring, and in general where the detection of sEMG in dynamic conditions is necessary.
stretchable textile electrodes; dynamic surface EMG; electrodes; electromyography; fabrics; PEDOT:PSS; screen-printing
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/318769
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