Novel flexible cap for application of transcranial electrical stimulation: a usability study

Background: Advances in transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) are hampered by the conventional rubber electrodes manually attached to the head with rubber bands. This procedure limits montages to a few electrodes, is error prone with respect to electrode configurations and is burdensome for participants and operators. A newly developed flexible cap with integrated textile stimulation electrodes was compared to the conventional setup of rubber electrodes inserted into sponges fixated by rubber bands, with respect to usability and reliability. Two operators applied both setups to 20 healthy volunteers participating in the study. Electrode position and impedance measures as well as subjective evaluations from participants and operators were obtained throughout the stimulation sessions.

Results: Our results demonstrated the superiority of the flexible cap by means of significantly higher electrode configuration reproducibility and a more efficient application. Both, operators and volunteers evaluated the flexible cap as easier to use and more comfortable to wear when compared to the conventional setup.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the new cap improves existing and opens new application scenarios for tES.


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