The Skinny on E-Skins

The newest fitness fad could be … skin?

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

Today, lots of people have fitness trackers and smart watches. It’s comforting to check the status of your body whenever. But it’s a pain remembering to charge and wear them daily. Is there an even easier way to monitor your health?

Enter Yeongin Kim and team from MIT. They designed electronic “E-skins” for health monitoring. They’re made of a stretchable semi-conductor and a sticky porous patch. No batteries necessary. The ultra-thin material vibrates in response to electrical signals from your body. Then it wirelessly communicates what the e-skin senses to nearby receivers like phones. This allowed test subjects to monitor biometrics like pulse and sweat composition in real time, for an entire week!

The inventors anticipate this technology will provide a comfortable and convenient method for health monitoring.

And that’s the skinny on E-Skins! Me?,.. I don’t wanna know what’s going on with my … metrics.

Reference: Kim, Y., Suh, J. M., Shin, J., Liu, Y., Yeon, H., Qiao, K., Kum, H. S., Kim, C., Lee, H. E., Choi, C., Kim, H., Lee, D., Lee, J., Kang, J.-H., Park, B.-I., Kang, S., Kim, J., Kim, S., Perozek, J. A., … Kim, J. (2022). Chip-less wireless electronic skins by remote epitaxial freestanding compound semiconductors. Science377(6608), 859–864.