Case Study: How Open Cell Foam is Used to Help Measure Brain Waves

Problem: Leaking Fluids & Uncomfortable Caps

A leading provider in the healthcare sector was in need of a solution to prevent saline testing fluids from leaking from skull caps worn by EEG testing patients. Also, patients complained of discomfort from the testing electrodes because they would scratch the bare skin of the patient’s scalp. EEG testing normally lasts between 30 and 60 minutes and the test is crucial in measuring brain activity so it was imperative for our customer to find a solution quickly.

Solution: Open Cell Polyurethane Foam

We’ve been designing and manufacturing unique foam components for our customers for nearly 70 years. Our engineering team worked with the customer to utilize open cell polyurethane foam to prevent the saline solution from escaping and running down the patient’s head. This solution increased the conductivity at the point where the electrodes connected to the skull, which improves the overall quality of the EEG testing results. To solve the problem of the uncomfortable test cap, we decided to laminate felt on one side of the open cell foam to a soft fiber material that surrounded the electrode so that when it expanded with saline, it would also act like a pad on the patient’s head. That way, it would help to protect the bare skin from the bare metal electrodes. 

Success: Open Cell Foam in EEG Testing

Today, this technique is used in EEG tests in hospitals around the world. By improving the ease of testing and keeping the saline in place, the open cell foam has improved conductivity at the point of connection and increased received data rate by about 30 percent.

Summary Benefits of Open Cell Foam in this Study:

  • Increased conductivity & improved EEG testing quality data rates by almost 30%
  • Allows for better holding of testing liquids and prevents liquids from dripping on the patient during testing 
  • Affordable and cost effective design allows for single patient use
  • Improves patient comfort and satisfaction level during testing

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