High-resolution Mapping of In Vivo Gastrointestinal Slow Wave Activity Using Flexible Printed Circuit Board Electrodes: Methodology and Validation

  • Peng DuEmail author
  • G. O’Grady
  • J. U. Egbuji
  • W. J. Lammers
  • D. Budgett
  • P. Nielsen
  • J. A. Windsor
  • A. J. Pullan
  • L. K. Cheng


High-resolution, multi-electrode mapping is providing valuable new insights into the origin, propagation, and abnormalities of gastrointestinal (GI) slow wave activity. Construction of high-resolution mapping arrays has previously been a costly and time-consuming endeavor, and existing arrays are not well suited for human research as they cannot be reliably and repeatedly sterilized. The design and fabrication of a new flexible printed circuit board (PCB) multi-electrode array that is suitable for GI mapping is presented, together with its in vivo validation in a porcine model. A modified methodology for characterizing slow waves and forming spatiotemporal activation maps showing slow waves propagation is also demonstrated. The validation study found that flexible PCB electrode arrays are able to reliably record gastric slow wave activity with signal quality near that achieved by traditional epoxy resin-embedded silver electrode arrays. Flexible PCB electrode arrays provide a clinically viable alternative to previously published devices for the high-resolution mapping of GI slow wave activity. PCBs may be mass-produced at low cost, and are easily sterilized and potentially disposable, making them ideally suited to intra-operative human use.


PCB Gastric electrical activity Smooth muscle Activation map Velocity 



This work is partially supported by Grants from the NIH (R01 DK64775), NZ Society of Gastroenterology, the NZ Health Research Council and the Auckland Medical Research Foundation. We thank Linley Nisbett for her assistance with the validation studies in this report.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Du
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. O’Grady
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. U. Egbuji
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. J. Lammers
    • 3
  • D. Budgett
    • 1
  • P. Nielsen
    • 1
    • 4
  • J. A. Windsor
    • 2
  • A. J. Pullan
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • L. K. Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Bioengineering InstituteThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyAl Ain UniversityAl AinUnited Arab Emirates
  4. 4.Department of Engineering ScienceThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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