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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Dec;5(4):443-50. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem060. Epub 2007 Jun 15.

Skin impedance measurements for acupuncture research: development of a continuous recording system.

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  • 1National College of Natural Medicine, 049 SW Porter St, Portland, OR 97201 USA. Tel.: 1-503-552-1745; acolbert@ncnm.edu.

Abstract

Skin impedance at acupuncture points (APs) has been used as a diagnostic/therapeutic aid for more than 50 years. Currently, researchers are evaluating the electrophysiologic properties of APs as a possible means of understanding acupuncture's mechanism. To comprehensively assess the diagnostic, therapeutic and mechanistic implications of acupuncture point skin impedance, a device capable of reliably recording impedances from 100 kOmega to 50 MOmega at multiple APs over extended time periods is needed. This article describes design considerations, development and testing of a single channel skin impedance system (hardware, control software and customized electrodes). The system was tested for accuracy against known resistors and capacitors. Two electrodes (the AMI and the ORI) were compared for reliability of recording over 30 min. Two APs (LU 9 and PC 6) and a nearby non-AP site were measured simultaneously in four individuals for 60 min. Our measurement system performed accurately (within 5%) against known resistors (580 kOmega-10 MOmega) and capacitors (10 nF-150 nF). Both the AMI electrode and the modified ORI electrode recorded skin impedance reliably on the volar surface of the forearm (r = 0.87 and r = 0.79, respectively). In four of four volunteers tested, skin impedance at LU 9 was less than at the nearby non-AP site. In three of four volunteers skin impedance was less at PC 6 than at the nearby non-AP site. We conclude that our system is a suitable device upon which we can develop a fully automated multi-channel device capable of recording skin impedance at multiple APs simultaneously over 24 h.

PMID:
18955218
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2586308
Free PMC Article
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