Epidermal electronic system is a class of hair thin, skin soft, stretchable sensors and electronics capable of continuous and long-term physiological sensing and clinical therapy when applied on human skin. The high cost of manpower, materials, and photolithographic facilities associated with its manufacture limit the availability of disposable epidermal electronics. We have invented a cost and time effective, completely dry, benchtop “cut-and-paste” method for the green, freeform and portable manufacture of epidermal electronics within minutes. We have applied the “cut-and-paste” method to manufacture epidermal electrodes, hydration and temperature sensors, conformable power-efficient heaters, as well as cuffless continuous blood pressure monitors out of metal thin films, two-dimensional (2D) materials, and piezoelectric polymer sheets. For demonstration purpose, we will discuss three examples of “cut-and-pasted” epidermal electronic systems in this paper. The first will be submicron thick, transparent epidermal graphene electrodes that can be directly transferred to human skin like a temporary transfer tattoo and can measure electrocardiogram (ECG) with signal-to-noise ratio and motion artifacts on par with conventional gel electrodes. The second will be a chest patch which houses both electrodes and pressure sensors for the synchronous measurements of ECG and seismocardiogram (SCG) such that beat-to-beat blood pressure can be inferred from the time interval between the R peak of the ECG and the AC peak of the SCG. The last example will be a highly conformable, low power consumption epidermal heater for thermal therapy.
Nanshu Lu, Shideh K. Ameri, Taewoo Ha, Luke Nicolini, Andrew Stier, and Pulin Wang, "Epidermal electronic systems for sensing and therapy," Proc. SPIE 10167, Nanosensors, Biosensors, Info-Tech Sensors and 3D Systems 2017, 101670J (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 27, 2017; Published: 17 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261755.
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