Novel textile-based anatomically realistic head phantom

A long-lasting textile head phantom was developed to validate EEG electrodes. This phantom mimics body-electrode frequency responses in the same manner as ballistic gel head phantoms. While the textile-based phantom was designed for EEG, it can also be adapted for ECG, EMG, and other related studies. The head phantom could also be used in modeling and simulation work involving brain neurological activities.

During the development of new bio-potential electrodes for electroencephalography (EEG), it is important to surpass the validation process. However, maintaining the human mind in a constant state is impossible which in turn makes the validation process very difficult. Besides, it is also difficult to identify noise and signals as the input signals are not known. For that reason, many researchers have developed head phantoms predominantly from ballistic gelatin. Gelatin-based material can be used in phantom applications, but unfortunately, this type of phantom has a short lifespan and is relatively heavyweight. Therefore, this article explores a long-lasting and low-weight textile-based anatomically realistic head phantom that provides comparable functional performance to a gelatin-based head phantom.

The new textile-based head phantom (Figure 1a) has a much lighter weight than the gelatin-based, that is, 0.5 and 6 kg, respectively. Therefore, the weight reduction is 91.67% which makes it more suitable for handling and moving from place to place. In addition, it is not delicate as ballistic gelatin-based, where the shape of ballistic gelatin could be distorted and decayed fast even when kept in a refrigerator. In our case, the gelatin-based head phantom began decaying after a week of its construction which may also depend on the weather where it is placed during testing. In contrast, the textile-based head phantom does not decay for years. It also allows synthetic wave injection similar to the commonly used ballistic gelatin-based head phantoms as the illustration shown in Figure b.

a novel textile-based phantom
a novel textile-based phantom

Novel Textile-Based Anatomically Realistic Head Phantom

The result proved that the textile-based head phantom can accurately mimic body-electrode frequency responses which makes it suitable for the controlled validation of new electrodes. The skin-to-electrode impedance was in the same operating range as ballistic gelatin and human skin. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the textile-based head phantom was found to be significantly better than the ballistic gelatin-based head phantom. While the textile-based phantom was designed for EEG, it can also be adapted to an electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and other related studies as well. The head phantom can also potentially be used during modeling and simulation work related to brain neurological activities.

Further information

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Ingegno Maker Space, Drongen, Belgium for the use of their makerlab and equipment in the creation of the 3D prints.

Contact

Prof. dr. ir Lieva Van Langenhove (Lieva.VanLangenhove@ugent.be)
ir Granch Berhe Tseghai (GranchBerhe.Tseghai@UGent.be)