World News – UA – Scientists develop sensors that can be printed directly on skin without heat


The need for constant health monitoring has propelled the development of sensors that can be placed on watches, wearable devices, and even thin, pliable plastic materials.However, sensors on the body provide much more accurate readings Aware of the potential, a group of scientists went further by printing the sensors directly onto human skin for accurate readings

The concept of printing sensors on the body is not new, however, but scientists previously had to rely on a sophisticated manufacturing process for printing directly onto a carrier substrate that can be attached to the skin But Huanyu « Larry » Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle and their colleagues at Penn State’s Department of Engineering and Mechanical Sciences have come up with a new approach

Cheng and his colleagues had developed a flexible printed circuit board that could be used in wearable sensors But printing directly to the skin encountered difficulties, especially with the high temperature required for the process of sticking the sensors. , called sintering, requires around 572 degrees Fahrenheit or 300 degrees Celsius for the silver nanoparticles to bond together But the skin cannot withstand such high temperatures

« The skin surface cannot withstand such a high temperature, obviously To get around this limitation, we have proposed a sintering aid layer – something that would not hurt the skin and could help the material to sinter together at a lower temperature, « said Cheng, whose study was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

The first process they came up with was adding silver nanoparticles to the mixture that could sinter at a lower temperature of about 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. This process could be used to print sensors on paper and clothing, but 100 degrees Celsius can still severely damage the skin So the formula had to be changed.The team looked at a readily available material, a paste of polyvinyl alcohol that is used in peelable facial musk and calcium carbonate, which makes eggshells.

By combining the new materials with the existing formula, the team found that it could sinter at room temperature In addition, the layer could be bent, bent without losing electromechanical capabilities After printing the sensors, the researchers have used a hair dryer (air blower) set on cold to remove excess water used as ink solvent « The result is profound. We don’t need to rely on heat for the sintering, » said Cheng

Printable sensors work like typical portable devices that can continuously monitor body temperature, blood oxygen level, and heart rate.The device is also capable of wirelessly transmitting signals to monitor progress

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According to Cheng, the printed sensors are environmentally friendly The sensors can work fine in warm water or at room temperature It can be easily removed with hot water « It could be recycled as the removal does not damage the device And most importantly, the removal also does not damage the skin This is especially important for people with sensitive skin, such as the elderly and babies, « Cheng said, adding that the device could be used without being an additional burden

Cheng and his colleagues believe that the technology can be modified to meet specific needs such as a sensor array on the body to monitor symptoms of COVID-19

Sensor, wearable technology, human skin

World news – UA – Scientists develop sensors that can be printed directly on skin without heat


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