Engineers from the University of Illinois (USA) have developed a device thatcombines electronic sensors for medical diagnosis and human-machine communication with a self-adhesive patch, much like the skin, which is placed as a temporary tattoo. The patch has already been successfully tested to measurethe electrical activity of the heart, brain, and muscles, according to an article published today in the magazineScience.
The microelectronic technology used to manufacture the artificial skin patch is called the Epidermal Electronic System (Epidermal Electronics System, or EES). According to its creators, it measures less than 50 microns thick, weighs almost nothing, does not need glue and requires so little energy thatcan be self-sufficient with miniature solar collectors, or collecting electromagnetic radiation from the environment. What’s more,when placed on the throat allows users to play a video gameVoice activated with better than 90% accuracy.
“The fusion of electronics and biology is the key here,” explains Yonggang Huang, who has collaborated on the study. “All current electronic parts are hard, rigid, while biological components are soft and elastic. They are two different worlds. Is this a way to really integrate them ?, he adds.
In the future, EES devices are expected to help people with sleep apnea and babies in need of neonatal care, as well as to manufacture electronic bandages to heal skin from wounds and burns.