A novel stick on tattoo has been developed that can effectively measure data about the human heart, brain waves and muscle activity.
The latest in medical invention is new type of ultra-thin, self-adhesive electronic device that can effectively measure the aforementioned vital signs without the use of bulky equipment, conductive fluids, or glues.
This product is in the form of a tattoo which has to be applied to the skin like any ink transfer tattoo. It is made from a rubbery polymer substrate that has similar properties to skin and has the same thickness, mass and elasticity.
Users just have to rub a backing sheet onto their skin and peel the sheet off, leaving the tattoo on the surface of their skin. The tattoo can bend, stretch and wrinkle just like real skin and contains advanced circuit components that can monitor functions in your body, ranging from neuro-muscular activity to wound healing.
Powered by solar cells, the data collected can be transmitted wireless to a remote computer for analysis.
While existing technologies accurately measure heart rate, brain waves and muscle activity, this device offers the opportunity to seamlessly apply sensors that have almost no weight, no external wires and require negligible power.
The device is thinner than the diameter of a human hair and the close contact forces stick at the molecular level so the electronic tattoos adhere to the skin without any glues and stay in place for hours.
The recent study demonstrated device lifetimes of up to 24 hours under ideal conditions.
Regions of the body like the throat and elbow that previously proved difficult to be fit with sensors may now be monitored with this device.
Future plans for this device is to focus on wireless communication and improved solutions for power. The researchers are also exploring clinical approaches, particularly for ailments where sensor size is critical, such as sleep apnea and neonatal care.
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