Research of Novel Capacitive Sensor for single node ECG monitoring - ON-118

Preferred Disciplines and Level: Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Engineering. Master Level
Company: HelpWear
Project Length: 6 months (1 unit)
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Location: Toronto, Ontario
No. of Positions: 1 intern
Preferences: Language: English          

About the Company: 

HelpWear is striving to achieve better at-home healthcare by developing affordable and accessible products for patients all around the world. HelpWear is currently developing HeartWatch, a 24/7 wearable heart monitoring system with an embedded emergency contact system for furthered prevention and better treatment of heart-related illness. Since our founding in the summer of 2015 in Ryerson University’s Basecamp program, HelpWear has grown to operate in Ryerson University’s Zone network, the University of British Columbia through CDL West, the Y-Combinator Accelerator program, and the Waterloo region.

Project Description:

Capacitive sensing is the fundamental key aspect our device uses in collecting the signals produced by the heart. In order to optimize the available signal gathered, a thin film of high dielectric material must be applied to the sensor’s electrode. Since wearable sensors will experience the bumps and bruises of everyday use, this material must be durable and robust to scratches. We are looking for a thin coating that can improve the durability of our current electrode without degrading its dielectric properties, while also researching for a material that increases the data fidelity.

Research Objectives:​

  • Review and strategizing of variety different options and paths that can be pursued, as well as selection of  material(s) that can increase data fidelity and harden the surface of the sensor
  • Research into methodologies that can be implemented to the sensor as a whole to reduce environmental noise effects
  • Production and testing of prototype to demonstrate viabilty of concept


  • Survey commercially-available options to select and procure sensor materials
  • Using appropriate techniques (eg. 3D printing, machining, etc), create sensor prototypes
  • Interface the materials or plate onto the corresponding hardware circuit
  • Perform test on prototyped system,or with existing systems to understand what material or combination works best. This will mainly be tested with bench setups made in house. Depending on the materials, we will run a biocompatibility and toxicity test.
  • Developing a robust and consistent method of increasing plate manufacturing capacity
  • Assesment of sensor quality using Matlab based on previous benchmarks 


Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Understanding of Electrical engineering and circuits
  • Understanding of ECG would be asset
  • Understand materials in the subsection of metal oxides and/or dieelectrics
  • Experience using Matlab

For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.

  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform.