Method for Developing In-Ear Dry Contact Electrode Systems to Measure Electroencephalography

Student Presenter(s): Ryan Ahmed, Pari Patel, and Yllka Valdez
Faculty Mentor: Michael Nizich
School/College: Arts and Sciences, Old Westbury

Brain aneurysms and epilepsy are serious neurological conditions that cause an alarming number of deaths each year in the United States. Detecting these conditions quickly and developing effective devices is critical to reducing mortality and morbidity rates. Typical symptoms and findings include muscle spasms, numbness, headaches, and abnormal neural activity. However, current EEG headset technology is expensive and often uncomfortable. Therefore, a low-cost, non-invasive device that captures electroencephalography is necessary. Researchers based in New York City developed a diagnostic device, NIURA, which integrates conductive silicone electrode technology with an earpiece. The device uses modified electrocardiogram analog front-end circuitry to detect electrical differences in neural signaling, rather than heartbeats. By applying fast fourier transform, it can identify and display frequencies in real-time on a digital EEG monitor. Frequencies were extracted from complex sine waves consisting of phase, amplitude, and frequency. This technology may potentially create tools for a broad range of neurological abnormalities; assisting healthcare providers in the detection stage of patient care. Ultimately, the development of this device could help reduce morbidity and mortality rates associated with brain aneurysms and epilepsy in the United States.