American scientists have developed a patch which electronic sensors to monitor the physical condition, the health of patients.

The microelectronic system sticks to the skin without adding products, it is ultra thin, even thinner than a human hair and is protected by a polyester film. This patch is composed of sensors, transmitters, LEDs, ultra miniaturized. It is hardly noticeable and does not require any external connection. This technological marvel at the health service can follow essential vital signs of patients by measuring their heart rate, brain activity and muscle.

Patch technology, combining electronics and biology

According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other institutions located in the U.S., China and Singapore, the electronic skin would replace the cumbersome hospital equipment. This “electronic tattoo” would have to replace all these son, gel and monitors usually used to monitor patients’ vital signs. To make the patch, the scientists used silicon wafers half a millimeter thick, which, after a particular treatment correspond to human biology. To produce energy, or for the energy of electromagnetic radiation, they inserted solar cells and miniature coils wireless.


An electronic tattoo temporary, a “gadget” hi-tech health service

In recent years, the technology consists of etching circuits on flexible materials, like writing on paper with ink. Previously, no research had helped to develop a material that also stretch the skin. Scientists considering microchip implants, sensors included in mobile phones or mp3 players, for example.

This patch contains electronic components mounted on a sheet of elastomeric rubber very thin, very close to the skin elasticity. This sheet is soluble and binds to the skin by brushing with water, identical to a temporary tattoo. The researchers described systems incorporating electrophysiological, temperature, strain sensors, as well as transistors, light emitting diodes, photodetectors, radio frequency inductors, capacitors, oscillators, and rectifying diodes. The patch is less than 50 micrometers thick. Rogers said they borrowed ideas from industries temporary tattoo. The patch is placed easily and remains quiet, he is actually very similar to a temporary tattoo.

Reliable measurement of vital signs

The tattoo was used to measure the electrical activity of skeletal muscles, heart and brain. The results of the study, the measures produce sufficient information in relation to the checks carried out by the traditional methods used in hospitals.

Hope for monitoring premature babies and sleep apnea

This patch could be much less cumbersome especially useful for monitoring premature infants and patients with sleep apnea. A monitoring system, wireless will prove extremely valuable to comfort for patients. The device was tested 24 hours without showing any defects or skin irritation. To this day, life does not exceed fifteen days. This electronic skin the size of a stamp is a great hope for monitoring patients remotely. It relieves patients of all bulky apparatus and allows measurements in the natural environment.