2004 Volume 124 Issue 9 Pages 1664-1671
This article reports on a novel technique for detecting electrocardiogram (ECG) at a condition where thin cloth is interpolated between sensing electrodes and the skin to which the electrodes are attached. The technique is based upon capacitive coupling composed of the electrode, the cloth and the skin, so that the electrode can lead alternating electrocardiographic current through capacitance of the coupling. The technique is also founded on impedance transforming circuit that has extremely high input impedance around 1000GΩ and low output impedance, so as to match high output impedance of the electrode to low input impedance required by subsequent circuitry. A pilot ECG measuring device was manufactured using the technique and experiments showed (1) ECG recordings using the device with silk of 240μm thickness or with cotton of 564μm thickness were quite similar to ECGs recorded from the skin using conventional system, (2) stable ECGs were observed with the silk below 600μm thickness or with the cotton below 1128μm thickness, (3) effects of long-term measurement and perspiration on ECG waveform were negligible. These results prove feasibility of the proposed technique for detecting ECG by electrodes with fabrics.