A team of engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, developed stick-on patches that incorporate off-the-shelf chip-based electronics that can support wireless health monitoring. The patches adhere like a temporary tattoo and incorporate a microfluidic construction with wires folded to allow the patch to bend and flex without being constrained by the rigid electronics components.

The patches incorporate a unique microfluidic construction with folded wires to allow the patch to bend. (Credit: Felice Frankel)

Their uses could include everyday health tracking, sending real-time updates to your cellphone or computer, and may even revolutionize clinical monitoring such as EKG and EEG testing, all without the use of bulky wires, pads, or tape.

The researchers did a side-by-side comparison with traditional EKG and EEG monitors and found the wireless patch performed equally to conventional sensors, while being significantly more comfortable for patients. The serpentine-shaped wires are folded like origami, so that no matter which way the patch bends, twists, or stretches, the wires can unfold in any direction to accommodate the motion. Since the wires stretch, the chips needn’t.

For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/component/content/article/1104-mdb/news/19461.