The Propagation Delay of Electrical Signals in Saline Using Electric Potential Sensors

Gebrial, W, Prance, R J, Harland, C J, Antrobus, C and Clark, T D (2007) The Propagation Delay of Electrical Signals in Saline Using Electric Potential Sensors. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 40 (1). pp. 31-35. ISSN 0022-3727

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This paper describes the application of a novel electric potential sensor to the measurement of the propagation delay of electrical pulses in a saline environment. This is achieved non-invasively through weak capacitive coupling to a novel electric field sensor. An experimental test cell is used to demonstrate that in an environment consisting of a polar liquid we are able to localize the position of a pulse, as well as determine its amplitude and shape. These are the basic requirements for implementing an imaging system based on this technology. Results are presented which show a spatial resolution of better than 0.23 mm using this propagation delay method. The paper includes a discussion of the effect of salt concentration on the electrical conductivity, propagation delay and velocity. The applicability of the sensor to the detection of signals originating from nerve fibres is discussed with preliminary data acquired from a 100 µm diameter glass coated micro-wire immersed in saline.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Experimental work by RA and myself, funded as part of EPSRC Basic Technology project (GR/R87550/01). This work demonstrates the ability of a high frequency sensor to follow the path of electrical pulses in a saline environment via measurement of the propagation delay. It opens up the possibility of interfacing with and imaging the electrical behaviour of a range of biological systems and characterising dielectric materials using this sensor technology. This work was presented at the IOP Biodielectrics meeting (2006) and interest was expressed in applying this technology to medical sensing in Leeds teaching hospital (Dr. S. Smye,
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Engineering and Design
Depositing User: Robert Prance
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:35
Last Modified: 03 May 2012 11:06
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