Epidermal Electronics Hold Promise for Patient Care


Epidermal electronics are the latest devices with the potential to transform health care and the way we interact with technology. These ultrathin devices are applied to the skin like a temporary tattoo. No longer will individuals and medical professionals have to deal with cumbersome electrodes and gel, and possibly even needles. Materials scientist John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has proven that these devices can successfully monitor the heart and brain, and can function by voice commands or movement.

“You can’t change the biology so you really have to redefine the nature of electronics,” said University of Illinois engineering professor John Rogers. [1]

The epidermal electronic devices are composed of carbon nanotubes and rubber elastomer, and are super flexible. All the circuitry parts, including transistors, semiconductors, and diodes, have been minimized. The circuitry is silicon-based and formed in a wavy structure called “filamentary serpentine” to create an electronic web. Because of this design, Rogers and his colleagues can create devices that monitor temperature, heart rate, electric signals from the brain and muscles, and many other features in a unique, non-invasive way.

“The most interesting part to me is that he [Rogers] manages to make the metal electrode, the semiconductor devices, extremely small and structured,” said Qibing Pei, a materials science and engineering professor at UCLA. [2] “The filamentary serpentine devices can also stretch up to 30 percent. It’s quite compatible with the skin.”

The device is as thick and elastic as the skin itself. Much like a Band-Aid, the device can stay on for days and weeks at a time. It stays on even with the natural tendencies of the skin to be pulled, squished, twisted, and poked. And it conforms to the body part it is applied to. The Rogers Research Group has achieved previous successes in engineering devices and systems that are inspired by biology and integrate with the human body and its surroundings. They are known for fabricating devices on the nano and molecular scale for electronics and photonics. [3] Rogers’ epidermal electronic system provides strong computing capabilities along with flexibility, whereas most predecessors only focused on one of these features.

“The skin represents one of the most natural places to integrate electronics,” said Rogers. “As the largest organ in our body, and our primary sensory mode of interaction with the world, it plays a special role.” [4]


LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Custom Legal Marketing | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Custom Legal Marketing on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.