University of Tokyo professor Takao Someya has developed a hypoallergenic, adhesive, continuous health sensor. The device can be worn comfortably for a week because of its nanoscal mesh elastic electrodes. This allows the skin to breathe, preventing inflammation.
The electrodes contains a biologically compatible, water-soluble polymer, polyvinyl alcohol, and a gold layer. The wearable is applied by spraying a tiny amount of water, which dissolves the PVA nanofibers, and allows it to stick easily to the skin. It conforms to curvilinear surfaces of human skin, such as sweat pores and the ridges of an index finger’s fingerprint pattern.
A study of 20 subjects wearing the device showed that electrical activity of muscles were comparable to those obtained through conventional gel electrodes. There was no inflammation after one week, and repeated bending and stretching did not cause damage, making this a potentially disruptive method to monitor health and performance.
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