Dry, comfortable and low-profile sensors for portable EEG acquisition

Neuroconcise Ltd

National Physical Laboratory
Round 3

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive process of measuring electrical potentials from the brain and is achieved by placing electrodes directly onto the scalp.

NeuroCONCISE has developed a suite of software applications, algorithms and hardware that can translate brainwaves into control signals via EEG.

This system is termed a brain-computer interface (BCI) and offers new ways of assessing and diagnosing medical conditions after traumatic brain injury (TBI), establishing communication with unresponsive patients (Disorders of Consciousness), for rehabilitation following stroke and for alternative mechanisms for accessing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices for the physically impaired.

Measuring EEG without the use of conductive gels is desirable, however, dry electrodes require the electrode tip(s) to be in contact with the scalp which can cause discomfort.

Additionally, maintaining a consistent electrical contact between the scalp and electrodes is challenging and often impeded by hair.

This results in signal quality degradation due to fluctuating impedance’s caused by inconsistent scalp contact.

Our goal is to investigate the optimum EEG electrode to complement our electronic hardware that can be used – either wet or dry to provide excellent quality EEG in our neurotechnology package.

The key objectives are to investigate electrodes that are: * soft so they can be worn comfortably on the head * conductive so that EEG can transition from the scalp to the electronics * biocompatible to ensure user safety * flexible and optimally shaped so they can manipulate through hair * robust to endure repeated use * low-profile to ensure minimum obtrusiveness for the user The main areas of focus will be to design and prototype electrodes which meet the above properties.

This will involve an iterative design phase of breaking down the properties separately and testing their effectiveness individually with the overarching goal of achieving an innovative electrode design that encapsulates all these characteristics to ensure maximum BCI system performance.

Due to the potential high impedance between the scalp and electrode surface, acquisition of EEG without the use of conductive gels is a more complex process than wet setups and given that wet EEG can be a more laborious and messy process, it is one of the major limitations to wide-spread use of EEG.

Our hardware is the most unobtrusive, flexible, portable, inexpensive and user-friendly product on the market.

By offering the user either wet or dry electrodes will appeal to clinicians who require quality EEG using wet setups and the consumer who may prefer a user-friendly system.

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