Error analysis of tissue resistivity measurement

Jang Zern Tsai, James A. Will, Scott Hubbard Van Stelle, Hong Cao, Supan Tungjitkusolmun, Young Bin Choy, Dieter Haemmerich, Vicken R. Vorperian, John G. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We identified the error sources in a system for measuring tissue resistivity at eight frequencies from 1 Hz to 1 MHz using the four-terminal method. We expressed the measured resistivity with an analytical formula containing all error terms. We conducted practical error measurements with in-vivo and bench-top experiments. We averaged errors at all frequencies for all measurements. The standard deviations of error of the quantization error of the 8-bit digital oscilloscope with voltage averaging, the nonideality of the circuit, the in-vivo motion artifact and electrical interference combined to yield an error of ±1.19%. The dimension error in measuring the syringe tube for measuring the reference saline resistivity added ±1.32% error. The estimation of the working probe constant by interpolating a set of probe constants measured in reference saline solutions added ±0.48% error. The difference in the current magnitudes used during the probe calibration and that during the tissue resistivity measurement caused ±0.14% error. Variation of the electrode spacing, alignment, and electrode surface property due to the insertion of electrodes into the tissue caused ±0.61% error. We combined the above errors to yield an overall standard deviation error of the measured tissue resistivity of ±1.96%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-494
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Calibration
  • Electrode
  • Error analysis
  • Error measurement
  • Four terminals
  • Noise measurement
  • Probe constant
  • Tissue resistivity


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