Investigation on the Use of the PE873 Conductive Ink for Surface EMG Measurements

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Federico, Andrea
Belcastro, Marco
Torchia, Pasqualino
Tedesco, Salvatore
O'Flynn, Brendan
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Nowadays, wearable devices are part of everyone’s life and their popularity is constantly increasing. With diverse applications, spanning from healthcare to fitness tracking, more and more wearable devices are being developed which can send and receive information in real-time. To date, electric cables represent the most stable form of communication in terms of reliability and resistance. However, for wearable systems, cables restrict movement and introduce additional noise and movement artefacts on wearable sensing systems. Wireless devices, on the other hand, can be comparatively complicated in design, manufacturing and use. A possible strategy, to improve communications in wearable systems, is the adoption of conductive inks able to conduct electrical signals, these can be printed on fabric without the movement restriction normally associated with traditional wired systems. The use of such conductive inks in wearable sensors may, therefore, lead to a more comfortable method of monitoring health data (heart rate, muscle contraction etc.) throughout the day. In this paper, the properties of the promising conductive ink PE873 (manufactured by DuPont) are tested and analysed. The conductive ink electrical properties are studied in relation to stretching, folding and washing tests. The electrical performance of the ink printed onto the selected fabric is assessed and presented. Furthermore, an optimized printing procedure, aiming at improving the connection performances, is suggested and the development of a novel system able to read muscle contractions, based on PE873, is demonstrated, thus showing that this conductive ink is a promising solution for stretchable electrical connections in the wearable field.
Wearable systems , Textile electronics integration , Conductive ink , Interconnections , DuPont
Federico, A., Belcastro, M., Torchia, P., Tedesco, S. and O'Flynn, Brendan (2020) 'Investigation on the Use of the PE873 Conductive Ink for Surface EMG Measurements', eTELEMED 2020 : The Twelfth International Conference on eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine, Valencia, Spain, 21-25 November [Forthcoming]
© IARIA, 2020