These Stylish Tattoos are Actually Super-Thin Wearable Electronic Devices to Monitor Health

By: | August 4th, 2017

Image courtesy Someya Laboratory

With the latest development in wearable electronics, scientists are closer to getting rid of traditional big and bulky medical equipment which involves pasting of uncomfortable cords to the skin in a hospital.

Super-thin wearable electronic devices can be stretched to bend to the skin. These health sensors can record data through human skin without people really even knowing that they are wearing the devices.

The super-thin wearable looks like a trendy tattoo but acts as an electronics interface with computers and devices. These tattoos are ideal for monitoring important health signals over the long-term like heart health, skeletal muscle behavior or brain function.

A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo unveiled this innovative solution

Scientists used a material that dissolves under water, leaving the electronic part directly on the skin and comfortable to bend and wear.

A flexible mesh-like structure of hollow metallic nanofilaments was applied on human fingers, allowing the area to bend and flex. Nanofilaments were coated in a thin layer of gold to make them more electrically conductive.

The mesh-like film structure sticks to the skin thanks to an ultra-thin layer of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The polyvinyl alcohol disappears, but the gold coating remains there, and it can be used to power a LED light or transmit data to a laptop.

The researchers were able to use the nanomesh material to measure temperature, pressure, and muscle health with no inflammation on the skin of the wearer.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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