Sensors (Apr 2016)

Graphite Based Electrode for ECG Monitoring: Evaluation under Freshwater and Saltwater Conditions

  • Tharoeun Thap,
  • Kwon-Ha Yoon,
  • Jinseok Lee

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 4
p. 542


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We proposed new electrodes that are applicable for electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring under freshwater- and saltwater-immersion conditions. Our proposed electrodes are made of graphite pencil lead (GPL), a general-purpose writing pencil. We have fabricated two types of electrode: a pencil lead solid type (PLS) electrode and a pencil lead powder type (PLP) electrode. In order to assess the qualities of the PLS and PLP electrodes, we compared their performance with that of a commercial Ag/AgCl electrode, under a total of seven different conditions: dry, freshwater immersion with/without movement, post-freshwater wet condition, saltwater immersion with/without movement, and post-saltwater wet condition. In both dry and post-freshwater wet conditions, all ECG-recorded PQRST waves were clearly discernible, with all types of electrodes, Ag/AgCl, PLS, and PLP. On the other hand, under the freshwater- and saltwater-immersion conditions with/without movement, as well as post-saltwater wet conditions, we found that the proposed PLS and PLP electrodes provided better ECG waveform quality, with significant statistical differences compared with the quality provided by Ag/AgCl electrodes.