A model of artefacts produced by stray capacitance during whole body or segmental bioimpedance spectroscopy

H. Scharfetter*, P. Hartinger, H. Hinghofer-Szalkay, H. Hutten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have developed a novel model for the simulation of artefacts which are produced by stray capacitance during bioimpedance spectroscopy. We focused on whole body and segmental measurements in the frequency range 5- 1000 kHz. The current source was assumed to be asymmetric with respect to ground as is the case for many commercial devices. We considered the following stray pathways; 1, cable capacitance; 2, capacitance between neighbouring electrode leads; 3, capacitance between different body segments and earth; 4, capacitance between signal ground of the device and earth. According to our results the pathways 3 and 4 cause a significant spurious dispersion in the measured impedance spectra at frequencies >500 kHz. During segmental measurements the spectra have been found to be sensitive to an interchange of the electrode cable pairs. The sensitivity was also observed in vivo and is due to asymmetry of the potential distribution along the segment with respect to earth. In contrast to previously published approaches, our model renders possible the simulation of this effect. However, it is unable to fully explain the deviations of in vivo measured impedance spectra from a single Cole circle. We postulate that the remaining deviations are due to a physiologically caused superposition of two dispersions from two different tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 1998


  • β-dispersion
  • Bioimpedance spectroscopy
  • Modelling
  • Segmental meusurement
  • Stray capacitance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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