MedGizmo: Healthcare Adhesive Wearables - Patches and Tattoos
There is a lot of talk in recent days about wearable tattoos – as a new wave of wearables’ development. Here is a brief MedGizmo story.
It started in 2013 with Motorola development of digital tattoos for next generation biometrics – basically associated with security - where phones, tablets, and other systems could recognize user’s vital signs. Later on Google released a digital tattoo that uses near-field communication (NFC) to unlock a Motorola Moto X smartphone. However, this is only function available. The use of tattoos looks extremely promising – this is direct contact with the body, where the microchips embedded into them are functioning organically with tissue. This is noted in a very detailed story on the subject by THE NATURE The inside story on wearable electronics : "...skin-surface and implanted sensors… are designed to function alongside tissue, rather than be isolated from it like most pacemakers and other electronic devices already used in the body..."
Read the full story HERE
You may even draw biosensors on your skin… The researchers at UCSD used regular off-the-shelf ballpoint pens – filled them with enzymatic inks. Thus they made a blood glucose sensor simply by drawing glucose-sensitive ink on a transparent, flexible strip that included an electrode. When a blood drop was placed on the sensor, the ink reacted with glucose in the blood and the sensor measured the reaction.
The researchers noted these pens could help people build useful sensors anywhere easily and cheaply anytime they need to, without needing to know ahead of time where and when sensors might be required. The group’s next steps include connecting the handwritten sensors wirelessly to monitoring devices and analyzing how they perform in difficult conditions such as extreme temperatures, varying humidity levels, and extended exposure to sunlight.
Read the full story HERE
The success of Chaotic Moon company and their introduction of the term Tech Tats Is widely reported all over the media.
“…We’re excited to debut TECH TATS, our exploration into the use of skin-mounted components and conductive paint to create circuitry that lives on the human body in the form of a tattoo that has the capability to collect, store, send and receive data.
Tech Tats are what we’ve dubbed biowearables: wearable technology that isn’t just, say, strapped to the user’s wrist, but interacts WITH their wrist. (In this case, in the form of a tattoo.) In other words, you’re eliminating clunky, expensive devices with a low-interference, low-cost, and low-hassle alternative, and using the user’s skin as the interface. It’s technology that is, in a sense, part of the user. The result? Total integration…”
Another popular subject is BioStamp Research Connect System - state of the art wearable sensors that can be placed on numerous body locations for targeted data collection
Inside this BioStampRC device there is a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope, integrated electrodes aimed at generating "research quality signals" that will be able to be used for surface electromyography (sEMG) as well as electrocardiography (ECG).
“… BioStampRC™ is the first research system designed for the human body. The BioStampRC system features the groundbreaking technology of the BioStamp® Sensor, a body-worn sensor so flexible and soft that it naturally conforms to the contours of the human body. BioStampRC Sensors are discreet, allowing study subjects to move from lab to home, through exercise and sleep, remaining unaffected by the tightly-coupled Sensors capturing a wealth of data
L’Oréal My UV Patch
L’Oréal unveiled My UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure and help consumers educate themselves about sun protection. The new technology arrives at a time when sun exposure has become a major health issue, with 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers being associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun* in addition to attributing to skin pigmentation and photoaging.
To address these growing concerns, L’Oréal Group’s leading dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, is introducing a first-of-its kind stretchable electronic, My UV Patch. The patch is a transparent adhesive that, unlike the rigid wearables currently on the market, stretches and adheres directly to any area of skin that consumers want to monitor. Measuring approximately one square inch in area and 50 micrometers thick - half the thickness of an average strand of hair - the patch contains photosensitive dyes that factor in the baseline skin tone and change colors when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.
Consumers will be able to take a photo of the patch and upload it to the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch mobile app, which analyzes the varying photosensitive dye squares to determine the amount of UV exposure the wearer has received. The My UV Patch mobile app will be available on both iOS and Android, incorporating Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled technology into the patch-scanning process for Android. My UV Patch is expected to be made available to consumers later this year.
e-skin from japan
Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed a flexible sensor thinner than plastic wrap and lighter than a feather. The scientists refer to their breakthrough as ‘imperceptible electronics,’ which is in fact a type of ‘e-skin’. When a patch of the material is fastened to the human body, researchers claim it is all but impossible to notice
Read this paper from SPECTRUM IEEE
BUILDING BIONIC SKIN. How flexible electronics can provide e-skins for humans - By Takao Someya
Flexible electronics using organic transistors could serve a range of biomedical applications. For example, we’ve experimented with electromyography, the monitoring and recording of electrical activity produced by muscles. For this system, we distributed organic transistor-based amplifiers throughout a 2-mm-thick film. This allowed us to detect muscle signals very close to the source, which is key to improving the signal-to-noise ratio, and thus the accuracy of the measurements. Conventional techniques typically use long wires to connect sensors on the skin with amplifier circuits, which results in a pretty abysmal signal-to-noise ratio.
VivaLnk eSkin™ Technology has two interesting devices
The eSkin Tattoo is a soft and flexible circuit that can be customized into your own personal wearable tech. Customize your tattoo’s application to work with your own technology
- Comfortable and Unnoticeable
- The flexible patch is so soft it’s barely noticeable.
- Continuous Remote Monitoring
- The mobile app tracks and alerts you of your child’s temperature seamlessly through your smartphone.
- Rapid Rechargeable Battery Includes a charging dock, so your Fever Scout is available whenever needed.
VivaLnk has developed a durable, non-invasive, highly accurate, wireless patch for monitoring your stress and physical health.
- Body Temperature
- Respiration Rate
- Sleep Status
- Heart Rate and Variability
- Stress Levels
- Real-Time & Remote Monitoring
- Durable, Low-Power Solution
- *Early Detection / Alerts – Stress & Health Conditions
The sensor represents the first example of an easy-to-wear flexible tattoo-based epidermal diagnostic device combining reverse iontophoretic extraction of interstitial glucose and an enzyme-based amperometric biosensor. In-vitro studies reveal the tattoo sensor’s linear response toward physiologically relevant glucose levels with negligible interferences from common coexisting electroactive species. The iontophoretic-biosensing tattoo platform is reduced to practice by applying the device on human subjects and monitoring variations in glycemic levels due to food consumption. Correlation of the sensor response with that of a commercial glucose meter underscores the promise of the tattoo sensor to detect glucose levels in a noninvasive fashion.
Multiparametric Epidermal Sensor Systems
Led by Assistant Professor Nanshu Lu, the team’s manufacturing method aims to construct disposable tattoo-like health monitoring patches for the mass production of epidermal electronics, a popular technology that Lu helped develop in 2011.
Blood level info without accessing blood.
Biolinq (formerly Electrozyme) develops skin-applied electrochemical sensors that analyze body fluids to provide actionable health information. This is a skin-applied biosensor, disguised to look like a temporary tattoo, that can provide valuable feedback on how the body reacts to physical activity. Founded in 2012 by Joshua Windmiller, PhD, and Jared Tangney, PhD, Biolinq aims to add a new dimension to athletic performance for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.
Biolinq got its start in the UC San Diego Nanobioelectronics Lab where Windmiller, then a PhD candidate, researched biomarker panels and assays that could help identify and treat battlefield injuries without drawing blood. With funding from the Office of Naval Research, Windmiller focused on measuring biomarkers in mitochondrial areas going just under the skin.
The epidermal tattoo takes readings of the body from the chemicals found in perspiration. The sensor measures lactate acid, electrolytes, and ammonia, three indicators that go well beyond the typical pulse/heart rate monitors currently on the market. Metabolic information provided by Biolinq is transmitted in real time to its user via a smart watch or armband worn over the tattoo, which is applied over a wrist or deltoid muscle before each workout.
The wrist and arm bands will be sold and developed by Biolinq’s strategic partners. The epidermal sensors, made from proprietary ink, are disposable.
Image by MedGizmo