High Accurate Howland Current Source: Output Constraints Analysis


Howland circuits have been widely used as powerful source for exciting tissue over a wide frequency range. When a Howland source is designed, the components are chosen so that the designed source has the desired characteristics. However, the operational amplifier limitations and resistor tolerances cause undesired behaviors. This work proposes to take into account the influence of the random distribution of the resistors in the modified Howland circuit over the frequency range of 10 Hz to 10 MHz. Both output current and impedance of the circuit are deduced either considering or the operational amplifiers parameters. The probability density function due to small changes in the resistors of the circuit was calculated by using the analytical modeling. Results showed that both output current and impedance are very sensitive to the resistors variations. In order to get higher output impedances, high operational amplifier gains are required. The operational amplifier open-loop gain increases as increasing the sensitivity of the output impedance. The analysis done in this work can be used as a powerful co-adjuvant tool when projecting this type of circuit in Spice simulators. This might improve the implementations of practical current sources used in electrical bioimpedance.

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P. Bertemes-Filho, A. Felipe and V. Vincence, "High Accurate Howland Current Source: Output Constraints Analysis," Circuits and Systems, Vol. 4 No. 7, 2013, pp. 451-458. doi: 10.4236/cs.2013.47059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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