Navigation Links
Medical Tattoo Tracks Body Functions
Date:8/11/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- An invisible patch placed on the skin much like a temporary tattoo can pick up and transmit physiological signals such as heart rate, brain waves and muscle activity.

This new advance in "wearable electronics" might one day replace the bulky wires and electrodes that are routinely used to assess body functions.

"I can't feel its presence," said John Rogers, senior author of a paper on the patch published in the Aug. 12 issue of Science, who demonstrated the two-inch-square device on his forearm during a Wednesday teleconference. "The distinction between electronics and the skin is blurred. It's much like a temporary transfer tattoo, though this has high-quality electronics embedded."

The epidermal electronic system (EES) improves on existing products and processes, many of them borrowed from Silicon Valley and the semiconductor industry.

To make the patch, the researchers first sliced a silicone wafer so thin that it became flexible and floppy like the tissue of the human body, explained Rogers, who is Lee J. Flory Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The wafers were then cut into serpentine shapes so they could also be pulled, stretched and elongated, again to match human biology, then shaped into circuits and bonded to a soft sheet of silicone rubber.

The system is less than the diameter of a human hair.

"We borrowed ideas from the temporary tattoo industry and used a flexible plastic backing that can wash away later," he said.

It also attaches like a temporary tattoo, requiring no separate adhesives or gels. "You [put] it on your skin then just apply water to the backside," Rogers said. "The entire system can have properties similar to the epidermis."

Unlike human skin, though, the EES includes tiny sensors, transmitters and receivers as well as photodetectors, radio frequency indictors and electrophysiological and temperature sensors.

Rogers described a multitude of potential applications.

"These devices are essentially invisible to the person who's wearing them so they can be very easily used for monitoring sleep without disrupting sleep patterns or to monitor premature babies, all kinds of scenarios where adhesive tape and wires are just not suitable," he said.

The system also recognizes words and connects them with muscle movement, which allows the person to speak simple words such as "up," "down," "left" or "right" to direct a computer game.

"This foreshadows the use of technology in more advanced types of human-machine interface -- perhaps most compelling is control of prosthetics," Rogers said.

The same principles could also help people who are limited because of neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to communicate.

The EES might also form the basis of a "smart" Band-Aid in the future, by using electrical stimulation to accelerate wound healing.

The EES has an antenna, so it is functional. The researchers' next challenge is make all the different elements work as a coherent system, to add Wi-Fi and to figure out the best power sources, such as batteries, wireless coils and solar cells.

"This is not [yet] a fully integrated system with all the bells and whistles we hope to achieve. The story doesn't end here," Rogers said.

"The ultimate goal is to generate commercial products that can be of broad benefit to society," he added. "This paper is a starting point."

Rogers has co-founded a company called mc10, which intends to do exactly that and, he predicts, at reasonable cost.

The company already has a joint development program with Reebok to "introduce these sorts of ideas in sportswear. That's targeted for a product that could launch very soon," Rogers said.

This research was supported in part by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Science Foundation.

More information

The American Society of Biomechanics has more on how biology and engineering can work together.

SOURCES: Aug. 10, 2011, teleconference with: John Rogers, Ph.D., Lee J. Flory Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Aug. 12, 2011, Science


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Dale Browne, M.D., ear, nose, and throat specialist, receives award from National Medical Society
2. John House, MD, ear, nose, and throat specialist, receives award from National Medical Society
3. Academics guest authoring ghostwritten medical journal articles should be charged with fraud
4. School obesity-prevention curriculum can reduce medical costs
5. Report Urges New Review System for Medical Devices
6. ACR and SBI issue statement on British Medical Journal article on effect of mammography on breast cancer death rates
7. University Hospitals Case Medical Center to begin clinical trial on experimental anti-TB drug
8. FDA should invest in developing a new regulatory framework to replace flawed 510(k) medical device clearance process
9. Afghan Medical Staff Face Ongoing Security Threats: Study
10. Health-care reform must involve psychologists, medical providers, educate patients
11. Fewer Surgical Errors Reported at VA Medical Facilities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Medical Tattoo Tracks Body Functions
(Date:1/17/2017)... , ... January 17, 2017 , ... Neil H. Greco ... planning assistance to communities throughout the region, is launching a charity drive to raise ... is by far the deadliest killer in America, and is responsible for 1 in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... SC&H Group, a leading audit, tax, and consulting firm, announced that Chris Rossi ... . Rossi is the third technology consulting leader to join SC&H Group’s IT Advisory ... practice continues to expand.     , Bringing more than 25 years of business consulting and ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Seceon ... cyber threats in real-time, today announced a strategic partnership with TechLab Security, ... Joining other Seceon partners, TechLab Security has become a strategic partner and a ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... offices in Tyler, has announced the latest beneficiary of their thriving community involvement ... nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of terminally ill patients. Donations to ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... Many people make New Year’s resolutions or renew their commitment to better health with the ... people who want to kick off 2017 with better smiles. Dr. Mondavi is offering several ... offers include: , , A new patient package for just $49, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... ® Technologies, Inc. announces that the Journal ... of Vibration on Molar Distalization," a study that focused ... Bowman , this prospective, peer-reviewed clinical study concluded that ... speeds up molar distalization rates in the apex ... to move the upper molars into a normal, Class ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 Following an ... today praised the Food and Drug Administration,s (FDA,s) ... Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities." ... proposed limitation on pre-packaging -- which would have ... costs to long term care (LTC) pharmacies.  ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... DUBLIN , Jan 17, 2017 Research ... Ingredients/API Market by Type (Innovative, Generic), Manufacturer (Captive, Merchant), Synthesis (Synthetic, ... CVD) - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... The global ... by 2021 from USD 157.95 Billion in 2016, growing at a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: