Wearable circuits printed directly onto human skin

In this news, we discuss the Wearable circuits printed directly onto human skin.

In the near future, electronic circuitry could be printed directly on your skin to monitor health indicators, such as temperature, blood oxygen, heart rate and blood pressure, suggests a recent study.

Wearable electronics that increase memory, intellect, creativity, communication and physical senses are becoming smaller and smaller, more comfortable, and more and more able to interface with the human body. To achieve truly seamless integration, electronics may one day be printed directly on people’s skin.

Researchers working at ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have safely placed wearable circuits directly on the surface of human skin to monitor vital signs. The latest generation of portable electronics for health monitoring combines soft sensors on the body with flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) for signal reading and wireless transmission to health workers. However, before the sensor is attached to the body, it must be printed or lithographed on a support material, which can involve sophisticated manufacturing approaches.

To simplify the process and improve the performance of the devices, Peng He, Weiwei Zhao, Huanyu Cheng and their colleagues wanted to develop a room temperature method to sinter metal nanoparticles on paper or tissue for FPCB and directly on human skin. for body sensors. . Sintering – the process of melting metal or other particles together – generally requires heat, which would not be suitable for attaching circuits directly to the skin.

The researchers designed an electronic health monitoring system that consisted of sensor circuits printed directly on the back of a human hand, along with a paper-based FPCB attached to the inside of a shirt sleeve.

To integrate the FPCB into the system, the researchers coated a piece of paper with a new sintering aid and used an inkjet printer with nanoparticle silver ink to print circuitry on the coating. As the solvent evaporated from the ink, the silver nanoparticles sintered at room temperature to form circuits. A commercially available chip was added to wirelessly transmit the data, and the resulting FPCB was attached to the sleeve of a volunteer.

The team used the same process to sinter the circuits on the volunteer hand, except that the print was done with a polymer pad.

The researchers created a comprehensive electronic health monitoring system that detected temperature, humidity, blood oxygen, heart rate, blood pressure, and electrophysiological signals and analyzed its performance. The signals obtained by these sensors were comparable or better than those measured by conventional commercial devices.

News Highlights:

Wearable circuits printed directly on human skin

Circuitry directly on the surface of human skin could monitor vital indicators

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