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A motion artifact generation and assessment system for the rapid testing of surface biopotential electrodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dry electrodes can reduce cost while increasing the usability and comfort of wearable monitoring systems. They are, however, susceptible to motion artifacts. The present electrode testing methods lack reliability and do not separate the factors that affect the motion artifact. In this paper, we introduce a first generation motion artifact generation and assessment system that generates the speed, amplitude, and pattern-wise programmable movement of the electrode. The system simultaneously measures electrode-skin impedance, the motion artifact, and one channel of an electrocardiogram that contains the motion artifact and monitors the mounting force applied to the electrode. We demonstrate the system by comparing the applied movement and the measured signals for electrode movements up to 6 mm and movement frequencies from 0.4 Hz to 4 Hz. Results show that the impedance change and surface potential are visually clearly related to the applied motion, with average correlations of 0.89 and 0.64, respectively. The applied force, electrode location, and electrode structure all affect the motion artifact. The setup enables the motion of the electrode to be accurately controlled. The system can be used as a precursor to the testing of integrated systems because it enables thorough, repeatable, and robust motion artifact studies. The system allows a deeper insight into motion artifacts and the interplay of the various factors that affect them.


  • Dry electrodes, ECG, Electrode-skin impedance, EMG, Motion artifact, Prototyping, Surface electrodes, Testing

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Field of science, Statistics Finland