August 12, 2011
"Stick-on patch proposed for patient monitoring."
August 11, 2011
RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
WASHINGTON (AP) - One day monitoring a patient's vital signs like temperature and heart rate could be a simple as sticking on a tiny, wireless patch, sort of like a temporary tattoo.
Eliminating the bulky wiring and electrodes used in current monitors would make the devices more comfortable for patients, says an international team of researchers who report their findings in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
"What we are trying to do here is to really reshape and redefine electronics ... to look a lot more like the human body, in this case the surface layers of the skin," said John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois. "The goal is really to blur the distinction between electronics and biological tissue."
The researchers embedded electronic sensors in a film thinner than the diameter of a human hair, which was placed on a polyester backing like those used for the temporary tattoos popular with kids. The result was a sensor that was flexible enough to move with the skin and would adhere without adhesives.
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