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Scientists create stretchable sensor

Japanese researchers have created a stretchable sensor that can be stuck to the skin to monitor health.

The device - which has been likened to a temporary tattoo - has been developed by scientists at the University of Tokyo and could one day be used to monitor vital statistics about the wearer.

Writing in the Nature Nanotechnology journal, they shared: "Thin-film electronic devices can be integrated with skin for health monitoring and/or for interfacing with machines. Minimal invasiveness is highly desirable when applying wearable electronics directly onto human skin.

"However, manufacturing such on-skin electronics on planar substrates results in limited gas permeability. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically investigate their long-term physiological and psychological effects.

"As a demonstration of substrate-free electronics, here we show the successful fabrication of inflammation-free, highly gas-permeable, ultrathin, lightweight and stretchable sensors that can be directly laminated onto human skin for long periods of time, realized with a conductive nanomesh structure."

The sensor has been tested on the skin and did not cause any irritation, thanks to the nanomesh used.

They added: "A one-week skin patch test revealed that the risk of inflammation caused by on-skin sensors can be significantly suppressed by using the nanomesh sensors. Furthermore, a wireless system that can detect touch, temperature and pressure is successfully demonstrated using a nanomesh with excellent mechanical durability. In addition, electromyogram recordings were successfully taken with minimal discomfort to the user."

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