Print 8 comment(s) - last by MechanicalTech.. on Mar 12 at 8:42 PM

This type of wearable technology is able to measure vitals like temperature and hydration of the skin

Wearable technology seems to be all the rage, with Google selling its "Glass" headset to early adopters and Apple developing a smart watch due to be released this year. But researchers at the University of Illinois are taking wearable tech to another level.

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign -- who were led by John Rogers -- have created an electronic device that can be applied right to the skin for medical purposes. 

The devices, called epidermal electronics, consist of thin electrodes, sensors, electronics and wireless communication/power systems. Previously, they were attached to the skin using an elastomer backing, but this material wasn't able to survive everyday situations like the shower, swimming, etc.

But Rogers and the team removed their elastomer backing and printed the electronics right on the skin instead, kind of like a tattoo. This made the device one-thirtieth as thick, meaning it could move along with the skin and endure daily activities.

“What we’ve found is that you don’t even need the elastomer backing,” Rogers said. “You can use a rubber stamp to just deliver the ultrathin mesh electronics directly to the surface of the skin.”

He added that using spray-on bandage products help keep the electronics stuck to the skin -- for a maximum of two weeks. But during the two weeks that the device is attached, it is able to measure vitals like temperature and hydration of the skin.

This type of wearable technology could one day be used on patients with surgical wounds. With a device like this planted near the wound, healthcare providers could wirelessly receive updates on how it is healing.

Source: MIT Technology Review

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Screen On!
By Omega215D on 3/12/2013 12:07:40 PM , Rating: 5
Apply directly to the forehead. Apply directly to the forehead.

RE: Screen On!
By s_p_kay on 3/12/2013 2:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
Nice one! Almost forgot about that schmaltzy commercial ;-)

This is going on my peni$
By inperfectdarkness on 3/12/2013 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 2

By MechanicalTechie on 3/12/2013 8:42:01 PM , Rating: 3
Yet another success in miniaturization :)

You missed half of the cool applications!
By 3DoubleD on 3/12/2013 12:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
You didn't include some of the other cool applications of their technology.

-accurately map seizures in real-time during open brain surgery to remove their source in the brain
-wearable electronics on your limbs can enable a new form of motion control as it can detect the electrical impulses sent to your muscles (eg. the Rogers group website has a video of one of the graduate students flying a toy helicopter through hand movements)
-when applied to the neck, they can detect what you are saying (a "soundless" microphone - perfect for Google Glass anyone?!?)

This goes much further than just vitals monitoring, pretty exciting tech. Hopefully they can figure out how to make it cheaply. The process of making the ultra thin silicon pads is just insane. Very cool stuff.

By sixteenornumber on 3/12/2013 4:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be interested in body core temp and hydration from a sport perspective.

Apply it to everyone's a$$
By Techslave on 3/12/2013 12:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
When someone cuts loose on the train, we'll have a mobile app that let's everyone know who did it.

Star Trek VI
By Solandri on 3/12/2013 3:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
They have escaped the prison, but will die of exposure to the cold if they are not rescued soon. But how will their rescuers know where to find them?

Bones: Jim, leave me - I'm finished...

Kirk: No way. You see this? (Points to stain on his back.)

Kirk: It's the viridium patch Spock slapped on my back right before we went aboard Gorkon's ship.

Bones: That cunning little Vulcan...

Kirk: Once we're beyond the shield they should be able to pick it up two sectors away.

It felt like a deus ex machina at the time, but I guess truth is stranger than fiction.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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