Sensing CDs

Got a box of old CDs collecting dust?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

The digital age is sending our old media to the landfill. This e-waste creates toxic pollution. Is there a better use for old CDs?

Matthew Brown and team from Binghamton University gave the question a spin. Researchers peeled the CDs’ thin metal off the plastic layer. They transferred it onto temporary tattoo paper and cut it into a stretchable pattern. Then, they made SENSORS out of the recycled material and other electronics.

These sensors can accurately monitor heart and muscle electrical activity. They also could detect blood sugar and oxygen levels. The best part? Each CD sensor only cost a dollar fifty to make!

The researchers think this method could reduce e-waste! These biosensors could also be connected to smartphones using Bluetooth. We could monitor our health through an app!

Don’t throw away those old Bee Gee’s CDs yet! They’ve got bonus tracks! The bell-bottoms can go, though. It’s time.

Reference: Brown, M. S., Somma, L., Mendoza, M., Noh, Y., Mahler, G. J., & Koh, A. (2022). Upcycling compact discs for flexible and stretchable bioelectronic applications. Nature Communications, 13(1).