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Wearable Sensor Made from Nanotubes and Chewing Gum

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:57PM

Today it is not uncommon for us to walk around with sensors on our bodies that record steps, monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more. Many of these sensors are relatively rigid though, which can limit their usefulness, so researchers are working on stretchable sensors. As reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces a team of researchers have created a new sensor from chewing gum and nanotubes.

Previous work on stretchable and flexible sensors looked to plastics, but while these materials were flexible they were not very sensitive. The new chewing gum sensor however does not suffer such a trade-off. It was made by first chewing the gum for 30 minutes, washing it with ethanol, and then letting it sit overnight. The next day carbon nanotubes were added, which act as the actual sensing material, and by pulling and folding the gum, the nanotubes were aligned. When tested the sensor demonstrated high sensitivity even at a strain of 530% and the researchers found it could detect water humidity changes, which could be applied to track breathing.



Source: American Chemical Society

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