US 3490442 A
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Jan.'20,1970- BM-STREU 3,490,442
ELECTRODE WITH-CONTACT-FORMING SUCTION CUP MEANS Filed Feb. 2, 1967 @MJ ?v@ United States Patent 3,490,442 ELECTRODE WITH CONTACT-FORMING SUCTION CUP MEANS Benno Streu, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, assignor to Fritz Hellige & Co., G.m.b.H., Freiburg im Breisgau,
Germany Filed Feb. 2, 1967, Ser. No. 613,561 Claims priority, application Germany, Feb. 9, 1966,
n Int. Cl. A61m 37700,- A61b 5/04 U.S. Cl. 1282.06 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A skin electrode for medical purposes, such as for use in connection with electrocardiographs or other medical instruments, wherein at least the contact-forming electrode area is composed of non-metallic, flexible, resilient, conductive material. The electrode may be in the form of a suction cup or strap.
This invention relates to electrodes, and more particularly to skin electrodes, as this phrase is in general use to designate electrodes employed in the medical field for applying voltages to, or taking up voltages from, the living body of humans or animal.
Such electrodes are employed for example in connection with electrocardiographs, when taking up heart activity voltages from the chest or limbs. In connection with electrical stimulation of the heart by defibrillators or pacemakers, such electrodes are used for applying stimulating currents or voltages, at locations as close as possible to the heart.
In many instances, particularly when monitoring circulation phenomena, the instruments used for such pur pose must remain connected by means of such electrodes to the human body, or that of an animal, for extended periods of time. From this results the necessity to maintain a semi-permanent, low-resistance electrical contact with the body and the connecting leads. Consequently, the electrodes must he designed in such a manner that electrical contact with the skin does not become defective as time progresses.
Up to this time it was conventional to secure the electrodes to the body either by means of strapping or by glueing them on to the body. Furthermore, and in addition to the mentioned securing means, use was made of an aqueous conductive slurry, frequently referred to as electrode paste for the purpose of maintaining the resistance at the contact location at a minimum.
In accordance with one of th main objects of the present invention, an electrode is provided which may be secured to the skin of a human or animal body without any additional means, and still obtain and maintain suf ficent electrical continuity.
In accordance with the invention, a solution to the problem resides in the fact that the contact-forming portion of the electrode is made from a conductive, nonmetallic, flexible, preferably elastic, material. In accordance with a particular feature of the invention, conductive organic materials in a polyvinyl chloride base are used for manufacturing the body of the electrodes. The electrode may 'be shaped in the form of a disc, or plate, but in accordance with a general aspect of the invention, the electrode may have the shape and characteristics of a suction cup, so that it may be applied to any surface of the human body without any additional securing 3,490,442 Patented Jan. 20, 1 970 means, due to the inherent resiliency of the contactforming area. Also, it may have the configuration of a strap or belt, particularly when it is intended to be used as an electrode applied to a limb.
The invention will now be described in connection with the drawings, illustrating two embodiments of an electrode in a schematic manner, by way of example, wherein: FIGURE 1 is a cross-sectional view of an electrode in the shape of a plate, or disc, having preferably the configuration of a suction cup; and
FIGURE 2 is an isometric view of a strap electrode. Referring to FIG. 1, one side of the electrode body 2 is applied to the body 4 of a human or of an animal. The 'body 2 of the electrode, when prepared from resilient semi-conductive synthetic material may be provided with a suction cavity 3 in that side which is applied to the skin, whereas the opposite side may have a buttonshaped protrusion 5 for connection to the connecting lead or cable 1 made of highly conductive material. The cable 1 may surround the button 5 by forming a lope 6.
FIGURE 2 illustrates another embodiment wherein the use of an electrode in accordance with the invention is shown in the form of a strap, or belt, which permits securing the electrode for example to a hand. The body 2a of the electrode, prepared from elastic or flexible conductive synthetic material, is wrapped around the lower portion of the arm, and the two ends of the strap are attached one to the other, for example by means of snaps 7. The connecting cable 1a is connected to the body 2a of the electrode by means of a contact-forming element 6a.
It will be apparent that'even though the electrodes of this invention are prepared from a flexible, preferably resilient conductive material, electrode paste may be used in order to reduce the resistance through the contact area with the skin. The surface of the electrodes may be of porous nature or it may be non-porous. Under any circumstances, the particular advantage accomplished resides in the fact that no additional means are required for maintaining the electrode in its operating position.
Whereas two preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described herein, it should be realized that there are many modification, substitutions and alterations thereto within the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is: 1. A skin electrode device for connecting a patient to medical apparatus comprising:
contact forming means for transferring electrical currents, said contact forming means composed of a non-metallic, conductive flexible material, said contact forming means adapted to be retained on said patient, and said contact forming means having the shape and characteristics of a suction cup with a button member on the outside thereof; and
electrical connecting means for connecting said contact forming means to said medical apparatus, said electrical connecting means having a portion thereof in the shape of a circular ring adapted to be retained by said button member of said contact forming means.
2. A skin electrode device for connecting a patient to medical apparatus, comprising:
contact forming means for establishing a vacuum retention connection on said patient and for transferring electrical currents, said contact forming means composed of a resilient nonmetallic, conductive flexible polyvinyl chloride base material, said contact forming means having a transfer portion juxtapositional to said vacuum retention connection; and
electrical connecting means for connecting said contact forming means to said medical apparatus, said electrical connecting means including retaining means attached to said transfer portion of said contact forming means for ensuring an electrical path between said contact forming means and said medical apparatus.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 WILLIAM E. KAMM, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 128418
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