A researcher at the University of Houston has developed a new form of electronic device, an electron device drawn on the skin. This breakthrough allows multifunction sensors and circuits to be drawn directly on the skin with an ink pen. The technology can collect accurate exercise health data. Exercise has long been an issue for using adhesives or other methods connected sensors to collect high-quality health data. Sensors must be highly accurate for medical monitoring and diagnosis, and new electronic devices painted on the skin promise to provide a useful motion-free health data acquisition system when the user is moving.
Another important benefit of the sensor is that it uses a simple manufacturing technique that does not require special equipment. One of the researchers says the sensor is used like writing on paper with a pen. Ink comes out like a liquid, but it will dry up soon. The researchers say electronic devices painted on the skin can be customized to collect different types of information and are expected to work without the use of complex devices, such as battlefields or disaster sites. Electronic devices track muscle signals, heart rate, temperature, skin moisture, and other physical data.
The electronic devices drawn on the skin also demonstrate the ability to speed wound healing. The system consists of three types of inks, which act as conductors, semiconductors and dielectrics. The study was supported by the U.S. Naval Research Office and the National Institutes of Health.