A gelatin-based hydrogel offers superior elastic properties and skin compatibility for wearables. (Credit: Terasaki Institute)

A gelatin-based hydrogel addresses the problems presented in constructing wearable pressure-sensitive sensors. The hydrogel has superior elastic properties, skin compatibility and low cost. It also offers ways to fine tune its elastic properties, structural characteristics, and pressure sensitivity by varying its preparation methods and the concentration of its components. This hydrogel has the added feature of transparency upon solidification, which makes it attractive for use as a wearable biosensor.

The team assembled the hydrogel, along with transparent electrical components, into a fully transparent strip that contained the hydrogel layer embedded into it.

Extensive testing of this sensor showed that the fabrication process successfully addressed the problems of water evaporation and structural weakness in a robust fashion. Furthermore, the sensor was able to measure pressure changes with a higher degree of sensitivity and consistency and could be produced at greater cost-effectiveness and scalability than in previously observed sensors.

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