Impedance characterization and modeling of electrodes for biomedical applications

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2005 Jul;52(7):1295-302. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2005.847523.


A low electrode-electrolyte impedance interface is critical in the design of electrodes for biomedical applications. To design low-impedance interfaces a complete understanding of the physical processes contributing to the impedance is required. In this work a model describing these physical processes is validated and extended to quantify the effect of organic coatings and incubation time. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy has been used to electrically characterize the interface for various electrode materials: platinum, platinum black, and titanium nitride; and varying electrode sizes: 1 cm2, and 900 microm2. An equivalent circuit model comprising an interface capacitance, shunted by a charge transfer resistance, in series with the solution resistance has been fitted to the experimental results. Theoretical equations have been used to calculate the interface capacitance impedance and the solution resistance, yielding results that correspond well with the fitted parameter values, thereby confirming the validity of the equations. The effect of incubation time, and two organic cell-adhesion promoting coatings, poly-L-lysine and laminin, on the interface impedance has been quantified using the model. This demonstrates the benefits of using this model in developing better understanding of the physical processes occurring at the interface in more complex, biomedically relevant situations.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis*
  • Materials Testing
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Plethysmography, Impedance / instrumentation*
  • Plethysmography, Impedance / methods


  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible