Sensorized garments and textrode-enabled measurement instrumentation for ambulatory assessment of the autonomic nervous system response in the ATREC project

Sensors (Basel). 2013 Jul 12;13(7):8997-9015. doi: 10.3390/s130708997.


Advances in textile materials, technology and miniaturization of electronics for measurement instrumentation has boosted the development of wearable measurement systems. In several projects sensorized garments and non-invasive instrumentation have been integrated to assess on emotional, cognitive responses as well as physical arousal and status of mental stress through the study of the autonomous nervous system. Assessing the mental state of workers under stressful conditions is critical to identify which workers are in the proper state of mind and which are not ready to undertake a mission, which might consequently risk their own life and the lives of others. The project Assessment in Real Time of the Stress in Combatants (ATREC) aims to enable real time assessment of mental stress of the Spanish Armed Forces during military activities using a wearable measurement system containing sensorized garments and textile-enabled non-invasive instrumentation. This work describes the multiparametric sensorized garments and measurement instrumentation implemented in the first phase of the project required to evaluate physiological indicators and recording candidates that can be useful for detection of mental stress. For such purpose different sensorized garments have been constructed: a textrode chest-strap system with six repositionable textrodes, a sensorized glove and an upper-arm strap. The implemented textile-enabled instrumentation contains one skin galvanometer, two temperature sensors for skin and environmental temperature and an impedance pneumographer containing a 1-channel ECG amplifier to record cardiogenic biopotentials. With such combinations of garments and non-invasive measurement devices, a multiparametric wearable measurement system has been implemented able to record the following physiological parameters: heart and respiration rate, skin galvanic response, environmental and peripheral temperature. To ensure the proper functioning of the implemented garments and devices the full series of 12 sets have been functionally tested recording cardiogenic biopotential, thoracic impedance, galvanic skin response and temperature values. The experimental results indicate that the implemented wearable measurement systems operate according to the specifications and are ready to be used for mental stress experiments, which will be executed in the coming phases of the project with dozens of healthy volunteers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Clothing*
  • Conductometry / instrumentation*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Textiles
  • Wireless Technology / instrumentation*