The purpose of this research is to expand the understanding of certain properties of electrodes used for electrical bioimpedance measurements. Specifically, this work investigates the acclimation effect of the skin-electrode interface contact impedance. It also attempts to study the relationship between electrode spacing and amplitude of bioimpedance pulsatile signals. It was found that as soon as dry electrodes are placed on the skin, the contact impedance exponentially decreases until it reaches a constant level. The acclimation time, time to reach a constant contact impedance, is dependent of the electrode size and frequency. Increasing the size of the electrode, as well as increasing the frequency, decreases the acclimation time. The acclimation of wet electrodes was also studied, and it was found that changes in contact impedance over time are negligible in comparison to the amount dry electrodes contact impedance change. However, the contact impedance of wet electrodes, instead of decreasing, tends to increase just slightly before reaching a steady state. Electrodes that do not carry current have contact impedance magnitudes similar to those that carried current after 60 minutes. This acclimation effect seems to be driven by the moisture level in the skin-electrode interface. As sweat and moisture build up with time when using dry electrodes, contact impedance decreases; and as the moisture in wet electrodes dries up with time, contact impedance increases. Capturing the small bioimpedance changes due to blood flow in the artery proved to be quite challenging under the circular orientation and with low levels of current injected. Only 5% of all the pulsatile data acquired had high enough quality to have a discernible pulsatile signal present on it. From the analysis of this 5% of data there were not conclusive results with regards the effect of electrode spacing on the pulsatile signal amplitude. However, the placement of the electrodes relative to the artery did seem to play a role on the pulse signal amplitude since the pulse amplitude seemed to peak when the center of the 4 electrodes was close to the artery. Pulsatile signal does not seem to be consistent throughout time; performing the same measurement 50 minutes apart sometimes resulted in the same or very similar measurements and other time the measurements were very different from each other. Despite the inconclusive results, the system for switching and selecting electrodes from an array of multiple electrodes along with the algorithm to determine the quality of the measured pulsatile signal proved to be efficient and serves as a foundation for developing a measurement system that can search and identify the the electrode configuration and placement that results in acquiring high quality signals.



College and Department

Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





electrical biompedance, pulsatile signal, contact impeandance, acclimation time, signal quality index



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Engineering Commons