Hydrogel-based photonic sensor for a biopotential wearable recording system

By Fernandes, M.S.; Dias, N.S.; Silva, A.F.; Nunes, J.S.; Lanceros-Méndez&comma

Biosensors and Bioelectronics

2010

Abstract

Wearable devices are used to record several physiological signals, providing unobtrusive and continuous monitoring. These systems are of particular interest for applications such as ambient-assisted living (AAL), which deals with the use of technologies, like brain–computer interface (BCI). The main challenge in these applications is to develop new wearable solutions for acquisition of electroenchephalogram (EEG) signals. Conventional solutions based on brain caps, are difficult and uncomfortable to wear. This work presents a new optical fiber biosensor based on electro-active gel – polyacrylamide (PAAM) hydrogel – with the ability to measure the required EEG signals and whose technology principle leads to contactless electrodes. Experiments were performed in order to evaluate the electro-active properties of the hydrogel and its frequency response, using an electric and optical setup. A sinusoidal electric field was applied to the hydrogel while the light passes through the sample. An optical detector was used to collect the resultant modulated light. The results have shown an adequate sensitivity in the range of μV, as well as a good frequency response, pointing the PAAM hydrogel sensor as an eligible sensing component for wearable biopotential recording applications.

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