Technology is always getting smaller, cheaper, and more efficient. As this happens, new applications become available, some of which fulfill sci-fi fantasy. Temporary electronic tattoos may just fall into this category.
A team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a prototype electronic tattoo that offers many of the same monitoring features as electrocardiograms among other medical devices. This sort of non-invasive, durable monitoring allows application of the beneifts of devices that are currently restricted to the clinical or lab setting.
John A. Rogers, professor of materials science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign lead the team. Their prototype allows bending, wrinkling, and stretching, all of which are necessary given the application of the device on the skin.
In order to achieve the flexible design, Rogers used only high-performance materials such as silicon. According to Rogers, “the whole system takes on this kind of spiderweb layout.”
These devices could one day allow doctors to diagnose and remotely monitor conditions like heart arrhythmia or sleep disorders, without having the patient change any major behavior.