New Human-Computer Interface: Stick-On Electronic Tattoos

Electronic Tattoo

Pinch me: These microelectronics are able to wrinkle, bend, and twist along with skin, even as it is being pinched, without breaking or coming loose. John A. Rogers, University of Illinois (picture at

Technology makes interesting inroads in medicine. Not only in electronic patient records and e-prescription but also in connecting patients to instrumentation and in tele-monitoring.

“Researchers have made stretchable, ultrathin electronics that cling to skin like a temporary tattoo and can measure electrical activity from the body. These electronic tattoos could allow doctors to diagnose and monitor conditions like heart arrhythmia or sleep disorders non-invasively.

“John A. Rogers, a professor of materials science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has developed a prototype that can replicate the monitoring abilities of bulky electrocardiograms and other medical devices that are normally restricted to a clinical or laboratory setting.

“The electronic tattoo achieves the mechanical properties of skin, which can stand up to twisting, poking, and pulling without breaking. Rogers’s tattoo can also conform to the topography of the skin as well as stretch and shift with it.

“The device included sensors for temperature, strain, and electric signals from the body. It also housed LEDs to provide visual feedback; photodetectors to measure light exposure; and tiny radio transmitters and receivers. The device is small enough that it requires only minuscule amounts of power, which it can harvest via tiny solar cells and via a wireless coil that receives energy from a nearby transmitter.” (Quotes from the article cited below)

Read the article here:

Stick-On Electronic Tattoos – Technology Review.

About Hellmuth Broda

Independent Information and Communications Technology Strategist with an interest in the construction sites between business, society and technology.
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