By: Vivek Kumar

srep25727-f1Electromyography is a non-invasive method widely used to map muscle activation. For decades, it was commonly accepted that dry metallic electrodes establish poor electrode-skin contact, making them impractical for skin electromyography applications. Gelled electrodes are therefore the standard in electromyography with their use confined, almost entirely, to laboratory settings. Here we present novel dry electrodes, exhibiting outstanding electromyography recording along with excellent user comfort. The electrodes were realized using screen-printing of carbon ink on a soft support. The conformity of the electrodes helps establish direct contact with the skin, making the use of a gel superfluous. Plasma polymerized 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene was used to enhance the impedance of the electrodes. Cyclic voltammetry measurements revealed an increase in electrode capacitance by a factor of up to 100 in wet conditions. Impedance measurements show a reduction factor of 10 in electrode impedance on human skin. The suitability of the electrodes for long-term electromyography recordings from the hand and from the face is demonstrated. The presented electrodes are ideally-suited for many applications, such as brain-machine interfacing, muscle diagnostics, post-injury rehabilitation, and gaming.

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