Sensor tattooed on skin

Smartwatch weighing you down?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying…

How smart are they, anyway? Tracking your health and fitness is important – you want a device that knows you like your own skin!

Faheem Ershad from the University of Houston has a solution. His team made an electronic device that can be DRAWN on skin! Think: smart TATTOO!

The team created different types of inks by mixing materials like silver flakes in special solutions. They also made a ballpoint pen just for the occasion! Then, they started drawing! When the ink dries on skin,- ta-da! A smart device with NO fancy equipment.

This smart tattoo can be connected to monitoring devices through wireless connections. Layers of ink create sensors that can measure heart rate, temperature, and skin hydration. Since it’s directly in contact with skin, accuracy is not affected by body movements.

That makes this tattooed tracker much more reliable than wearable watches!

HOW INK-redible is that?!

Reference: Ershad, F., Thukral, A., Yue, J., Comeaux, P., Lu, Y., Shim, H., Sim, K., Kim, N.-I., Rao, Z., Guevara, R., Contreras, L., Pan, F., Zhang, Y., Guan, Y.-S., Yang, P., Wang, X., Wang, P., Wu, X., & Yu, C. (2020). Ultra-conformal drawn-on-skin electronics for multifunctional motion artifact-free sensing and point-of-care treatment. Nature Communications, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17619-1