A comparison of gold versus silver electrode contacts for high-resolution gastric electrical mapping using flexible printed circuit board arrays.

O'Grady G, Paskaranandavadivel N, Angeli TR, Du P, Windsor JA, Cheng LK, Pullan AJ
Physiol Meas. 2011 32 (3): N13-22

PMID: 21252419 · PMCID: PMC4127313 · DOI:10.1088/0967-3334/32/3/N02

Stomach contractions are initiated and coordinated by electrical events termed slow waves, and slow wave abnormalities contribute to gastric motility disorders. Recently, flexible printed circuit board (PCB) multi-electrode arrays were introduced, facilitating high-resolution mapping of slow wave activity in humans. However PCBs with gold contacts have shown a moderately inferior signal quality to previous custom-built silver-wire platforms, potentially limiting analyses. This study determined if using silver instead of gold contacts improved flexible PCB performance. In a salt-bath test, modestly higher stimulus amplitudes were recorded from silver PCBs (mean 312, s.d. 89 µV) than those from gold (mean 281, s.d. 85 µV) (p < 0.001); however, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was similar (p = 0.26). In eight in vivo experimental studies, involving gastric serosal recordings from five pigs, no silver versus gold differences were found in terms of slow wave amplitudes (mean 677 versus 682 µV; p = 0.91), SNR (mean 8.8 versus 8.8 dB; p = 0.94) or baseline drift (NRMS; mean 12.0 versus 12.1; p = 0.97). Under the prescribed conditions, flexible PCBs with silver or gold contacts provide comparable results in vivo, and contact material difference does not explain the performance difference between current-generation slow wave mapping platforms. Alternative explanations for this difference and the implications for electrode design are discussed.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Electrodes Electrophysiological Phenomena Gold Pliability Silver Stomach Sus scrofa

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