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Invented electronic tattoo that measures heart rate and temperature

The metal sensor is extremely thin and can be glued directly to the skin.

Chinese researchers developed a low-cost method of making temporary electronic tattoos capable of monitoring health-related parameters such as heart rate and skin temperature, the journal reports today. Flexible Electronics.

The metal sensor designed by a group of the Huazhong University from Science and Technology it is extremely thin, with a thickness of less than a thousandth of a millimeter, and can be pasted directly on the skin.

Being such a thin layer, sensor adapts to skin texture and it does not interfere with perspiration or is affected by body movements.

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Manufacturing electronic tattoos for medical use from inorganic materials has so far been a long and costly process.

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Various investigations have explored the possibility of sticking these types of sensors to the skin with adhesive tape for medical use in order to reduce production costs, but this strategy increases the thickness of the device and prevents perspiration.

Yongan huang and his group tried to solve that problem with a new design based on a plastic sheet of 1.4 microns thick made from polyethylene terephthalate, the same material with which some beverage containers and textile fibers are made.

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This foil is covered with a thin film of gold particles and cut with a computer controlled electronic knife.

The resulting tattoo, a thin flexible and breathable sheet, can be pasted on the human skin temporarily, and can be used to measure parameters such as hydration and temperature, as well as to collect electrical signals, from which the heart rate can be inferred and respiratory.