Researchers have created a so-called “electronic skin” that can monitor heartbeats, brain activity and muscle contractions.
The patch was created by John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It consists of a flexible lattice of sensor-laden circuits. It can be applied and removed like a temporary tattoo.
Moreover, the new invention is more advanced than medical sensors. Placed on the neck, the “electronic skin” can “feel” the words well enough to allow the control of a simple computer game. Also, the device could be used to help people with laryngeal diseases communicate or to increase the control of prostheses.
The electronic skin could also be used to monitor brain activity and heart rate. It doesn’t exceed the thickness of a hair and it can be easily attached to the skin.
Currently, Rogers is working with physiotherapists to facilitate the use of the system in order to induce muscle contractions in the damaged regions of the body, thereby facilitating tissue recovery.