A Comparison of Voltage & Current Signals for Impedance Cardiography

Nikhil Rathi and Rohit Sharma

Department of Instrumentation & Control Engineering,
National Institute of Technology Jalandhar, Jalandhar, India.


This paper gives the valuable advantage of current signals over voltage signals. Current signals have advantage over voltage signals because current signals are exactly equal in magnitude throughout the series circuit loop carrying current from the source (measuring device) to the load (indicator, recorder, or controller), whereas voltage signals in a parallel circuit may vary from one end to the other due to resistive wire losses. Furthermore, current-sensing instruments typically have low impedances (while voltage-sensing instruments have high impedances), which gives current-sensing instruments greater electrical noise immunity.

In order to use current as an analog representation of a physical quantity, we have to have some way of generating a precise amount of current within the signal circuit. But how do we generate a precise current signal when we might not know the resistance of the loop? The answer is to use an amplifier designed to hold current to a prescribed value, applying as much or as little voltage as necessary to the load circuit to maintain that value. Such an amplifier performs the function of a current source. An op-amp with negative feedback is a perfect candidate for such a task.

Keywords: Current sensing instruments, Electrical noise immunity, Analog representation, Precise current.

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