Today's electrodes for detecting electrical muscle signals (EMG) or neuronal signals (EEG) are made of metal and provided with a gel layer. In long-term measurements, the gel dries and prevents reliable measurement on the patient.
With ultra-thin electrodes that precisely adapt to the skin surface, measurements without gel and over longer periods of time are possible. Particularly good electrical contact with the skin can be achieved with printed carbon nanoparticle electrodes, such as, for example, graphene nanoparticles. However, the necessary and commercially available graphene inks are not suitable for industrial inkjet printing. Therefore, there are hardly any printing processes for these inks to produce these wafer-thin electrodes.
The objective of the NanoEDGE project is the development of an ink from graphene nanoparticles for inkjet printing and a scalable printing process as well as a resource-efficient process chain for the production of electrodes for direct skin contact. Such electrodes, combined with low-cost skin electronics will form a new generation of wearable sensors. With these sensors, the sophisticated detection of biological signals that are indicative for mental state, like neural, physiological and muscle signals, will allow for a more comprehensive portraying of mental processes, thus considerably improving mental disorder diagnosis and functional restoration.