A novel electrode is developed to detect electrocardiogram (ECG) signals using the top grain leather and split leather of pig as the substrate due to their mechanical strength, flexibility, permeability, long-term durability and visual acceptance. The natural leather is pre-treated with Ar plasma and a thin silver paste coating is brush-painted on the surface to gain electrical conductivity. The sheet resistance of the electrodes is approximately 120 mΩ sq−1. The electrodes based on leather can reliably transmit low-frequency and low-voltage signals, which benefit the acquisition of cardiac signals. Although the electrode-skin contact impedance of the dry leather-based electrodes is higher than the silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrodes, the contact impedance decreases at least 57.74% after wetting the skin. All cardiac waves obtained by the leather-based electrodes are clear and visible, and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of electrodes are higher than the Ag/AgCl electrodes. The electrodes based on leather have great potential for smart wearable devices.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
J. Wannenburg, R. Malekian, G.P. Hancke, Wireless capacitive-based ECG sensing for feature extraction and mobile health monitoring. IEEE Sens. J. 18, 6023–6032 (2018)
E. Lee, I. Kim, H. Liu, G. Cho, Exploration of AgNW/PU nanoweb as ECG textile electrodes and comparison with Ag/AgCl electrodes. Fiber. Polym. 18, 1749–1753 (2017)
F. Sun, C. Yi, W. Li, Y. Li, A wearable H-shirt for exercise ECG monitoring and individual lactate threshold computing. Comput. Ind. 92–93, 1–11 (2017)
Y. Khan, F.J. Pavinatto, M.C. Lin, A. Liao, S.L. Swisher, K. Mann, V. Subramanian, M.M. Maharbiz, A.C. Arias, Inkjet-printed flexible gold electrode arrays for bioelectronic interfaces. Adv. Funct. Mater. 26, 1004–1013 (2016)
P. Fiedler, S. Griebel, P. Pedrosa, C. Fonseca, F. Vaz, L. Zentner, F. Zanow, J. Haueisen, Multichannel EEG with novel Ti/TiN dry electrodes. Sensor. Actuat. A-Phys. 221, 139–147 (2015)
L. Majumder, O. Chen, C.H. Marinov, T. Chen, M.J. Mondal, Deen, noncontact wearable wireless ECG systems for long-term monitoring. IEEE Rev. Biomed. Eng. 11, 306–321 (2018)
A. Ankhili, X. Tao, C. Cochrane, V. Koncar, D. Coulon, J.M. Tarlet, Ambulatory evaluation of ECG signals obtained using washable textile-based electrodes made with chemically modified PEDOT:PSS. Sensors 19, 416 (2019)
M. Weder, D. Hegemann, M. Amberg, M. Hess, L.F. Boesel, R. Abacherli, V.R. Meyer, R.M. Rossi, Embroidered electrode with silver/titanium coating for long-term ECG monitoring. Sensors 15, 1750–1759 (2015)
H. Cho, H. Lim, S. Cho, J.-W. Lee, Development of textile electrode for electrocardiogram measurement based on conductive electrode configuration. Fiber. Polym. 16, 2148–2157 (2015)
A.C. Myers, H. Huang, Y. Zhu, Wearable silver nanowire dry electrodes for electrophysiological sensing. Rsc Adv. 5, 11627–11632 (2015)
Y.-J. Choi, J.-Y. Lee, S.-H. Kong, Driver ECG measuring system with a conductive fabric-based dry electrode. IEEE Access 6, 415–427 (2018)
A. Achilli, D. Bonfiglio, Pani, design and characterization of screen-printed textile electrodes for ECG monitoring. IEEE Sens. J. 18, 4097–4107 (2018)
Haghdoost, V. Mottaghitalab, A.K. Haghi, Comfortable textile-based electrode for wearable electrocardiogram. Sensor Rev. 35, 20–29 (2015)
C. L. Lam, N. N. Z. M. Rajdi, D. H. B. Wicaksono, MWCNT/cotton-based flexible electrode for electrocardiography. IEEE Sensors 222–225 (2013)
C. Lou, R. Li, Z. Li, T. Liang, Z. Wei, M. Run, X. Yan, X. Liu, Flexible graphene electrodes for prolonged dynamic ECG monitoring. Sensors 16, 1833 (2016)
M.K. Yapici, A.A. Tamador, Y.A. Samad, K. Liao, Graphene-clad textile electrodes for electrocardiogram monitoring. Sensor Actuat. B-Chem. 221, 1469–1474 (2015)
S.M. Saleh, S.M. Jusob, F.K.C. Harun, L. Yuliati, D.H.B. Wicaksono, Optimization of reduced GO-based cotton electrodes for wearable electrocardiography. IEEE Sens. J. 20, 7774–7782 (2020)
D. Pani, A. Dessi, J.F. Saenz-Cogollo, G. Barabino, B. Fraboni, A. Bonfiglio, Fully textile, PEDOT:PSS based electrodes for wearable ECG monitoring systems. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 63, 540–549 (2016)
A. Ankhili, X. Tao, C. Cochrane, D. Coulon, V. Koncar, Washable and reliable textile electrodes embedded into underwear fabric for electrocardiography (ECG) monitoring. Materials 11, 256 (2018)
L. Ke, Y. Wang, X. Ye, W. Luo, X. Huang, B. Shi, Collagen-based breathable, humidity-ultrastable and degradable on-skin device. J. Mater. Chem. C 7, 2548–2556 (2019)
R. Castrillon, J.J. Perez, H. Andrade-Caicedo, Electrical performance of PEDOT:PSS-based textile electrodes for wearable ECG monitoring: a comparative study. Biomed. Eng. Online 17, 38 (2018)
X. You, L. Gou, X. Tong, Improvement in surface hydrophilicity and resistance to deformation of natural leather through O 2 /H 2 O low-temperature plasma treatment. Appl. Surf. Sci. 360, 398–402 (2016)
P.S. Das, H.S. Yoon, J. Kim, D.H. Kim, J.Y. Park, Simple fabrication method of an ultrasensitive gold micro-structured dry skin sensor for biopotential recording. Microelectron. Eng. 197, 96–103 (2018)
T. Takeshita, M. Yoshida, Y. Takei, A. Ouchi, A. Hinoki, H. Uchida, T. Kobayashi, Relationship between contact pressure and motion artifacts in ECG measurement with electrostatic flocked electrodes fabricated on textile. Sci. Rep. 9, 5897 (2019)
Y. Meng, Z. Li, J. Chen, A flexible dry electrode based on APTES-anchored PDMS substrate for portable ECG acquisition system. Microsyst. Technol. 22, 2027–2034 (2015)
P.J. Xu, H. Zhang, X.M. Tao, Textile-structured electrodes for electrocardiogram. Text. Prog. 40, 183–213 (2008)
A. Comert, J. Hyttinen, Investigating the possible effect of electrode support structure on motion artifact in wearable bioelectric signal monitoring. Biomed Eng Online 14, 44 (2015)
This work was supported by ‘Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University’, PR China. The authors would like to acknowledge the testing support from the Analysis & Testing Center of Sichuan University and the test equipment support provided by West China Hospital of Sichuan University.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Song, Y., Huang, Y., Zou, Y. et al. Performance of a flexible electrode based on natural leather. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron 32, 4891–4902 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10854-020-05229-y