Stretchy Electronic Patch that you can Stick OnCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: April 8, 2014 07:22AM
Being comfortable is important, but it is not always possible, depending on the situation, so people are constantly trying to find ways to fix that. One area that could use some work is medicine as many sensors for monitoring vital signs are uncomfortable or sacrifice ability for comfort. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign however have developed a stick-on patch that can have off-the-shelf electronics built into it.
The patch itself is like an elastic envelope, filled with fluid and the electronics. Of course the chips are rigid, but by using a squiggly pattern, the wires that connect them are able to survive stress without fracturing. No matter which way the stress is directed, the wires are able to unfold and continue functioning. This design is so that the patch can survive being adhered to a person's skin, without uncomfortable pulling.
When the researchers tested this patch against traditional EKG and EEG monitors, it performed equally well. As this patch design is compatible with off-the-shelf electrical components, the technology can be used pretty cheaply, especially compared to similar patches with specially-designed components.