Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Paper skin sensors for environmental monitoring

24.02.2016

A paper-based sensor that mimics the sensory functions of human skin has been developed for the first time from low-cost and commonly available household materials.

Everyday materials found in the kitchen, such as aluminum foil, sticky note paper, sponges and tape, have been used by a team of electrical engineers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to develop a low-cost sensor that can detect external stimuli, including touch, pressure, temperature, acidity and humidity. Their work was published on February 19, 2016 in the inaugural issue of Advanced Materials Technologies by Wiley-VCH (Germany).


The flexible temperature array was made by drawing a resistor structure with a silver conductive ink pen on Post-it paper. © 2016 KAUST

The sensor, which is called Paper Skin, performs as well as other artificial skin applications currently being developed while integrating multiple functions using cost-effective materials.

Wearable and flexible electronics show promise for a variety of applications, such as wireless monitoring of patient health and touch-free computer interfaces, but current research in this direction employs expensive and sophisticated materials and processes.

“Our work has the potential to revolutionize the electronics industry and opens the door to commercializing affordable high-performance sensing devices,” stated Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, KAUST associate professor of electrical engineering from the University’s Integrated Nanotechnology Lab, where the research was conducted.

"Previous efforts in this direction used sophisticated materials or processes,” Hussain continued. “Chemically functionalized inkjet printed or vacuum technology-processed papers—albeit cheap—have shown limited functionalities. Here we show a scalable ‘garage’ fabrication approach using off-the-shelf and inexpensive household elements.”

The team used sticky note paper to detect humidity, sponges and wipes to detect pressure and aluminum foil to detect motion. Coloring a sticky note with an HB pencil allowed the paper to detect acidity levels, and aluminum foil and conductive silver ink were used to detect temperature differences.

The materials were put together into a simple paper-based platform that was then connected to a device that detected changes in electrical conductivity according to external stimuli.

Increasing levels of humidity, for example, increased the platform’s ability to store an electrical charge, or its capacitance. Exposing the sensor to an acidic solution increased its resistance, while exposing it to an alkaline solution decreased it. Voltage changes were detected with temperature changes. Bringing a finger closer to the platform disturbed its electromagnetic field, decreasing its capacitance.

The team leveraged the various properties of the materials they used, including their porosity, adsorption, elasticity and dimensions to develop the low-cost sensory platform. They also demonstrated that a single integrated platform could simultaneously detect multiple stimuli in real time.

Several challenges must be overcome before a fully autonomous, flexible and multifunctional sensory platform becomes commercially achievable, explained Hussain. Wireless interaction with the paper skin needs to be developed. Reliability tests also need to be conducted to assess how long the sensor can last and how good its performance is under severe bending conditions.

“The next stage will be to optimize the sensor’s integration on this platform for applications in medical monitoring systems. The flexible and conformal sensory platform will enable simultaneous real-time monitoring of body vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing patterns and movement,” Hussain said.

“We may also transfer the achieved functionalities of the technology to biologically grown skin and develop mechanisms to connect it to neuronal networks in the human body to assist burn victims, for example. Other applications include robotics, vehicular technology and environmental surveys,” he added.

KAUST-NSF Research Conference on Electronic Materials, Devices and Systems for a Sustainable Future:

From March 14 to 16, 2016 Hussain and colleagues from KAUST and the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) will host the KAUST-NSF Research Conference on Electronic Materials, Devices and Systems for a Sustainable Future on the KAUST campus. Work in the electronics field, such as Hussain's low-cost paper sensor, will be highlighted during the three-day event.

The conference will also provide the opportunity for the KAUST scholarly community to exhibit research and innovations through a poster presentation session. Submission for posters will be available from February 21 to March 1.

The conference is made possible with financial support from the KAUST Office of Sponsored Research. It is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), United States of America, KAUST Industry Collaboration Program (KICP) and the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division.

https://discovery.kaust.edu.sa/en/article/196/artificial-skin-sensors-made-from-sticky-notes
DOI: 10.1002/admt.201600004

About Muhammad Mustafa Hussain:
Muhammad Mustafa Hussain (Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, U.S., December 2005) is associate professor of electrical engineering at KAUST. Before joining the University, he was a program manager of the emerging technology program in SEMATECH (Austin, Texas, U.S.), funded by DARPA NEMS, CERA and STEEP programs.

A regular panelist of U.S. NSF grant reviewing committees, Hussain is also editor-in-chief of Applied Nanoscience (Springer), editor of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices and an IEEE senior member. He has served as a first or corresponding author in 80% of his 232 research papers and has 41 issued or pending U.S. patents.

About King Abdullah University of Science and Technology:
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, graduate-level research university located along the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. KAUST is dedicated to advancing science and technology through interdisciplinary research, education and innovation. Curiosity driven and goal-oriented research is conducted by students, faculty, scientists and engineers to address the world’s pressing scientific and technological challenges related to food, water, energy and the environment. www.kaust.edu.sa


Associated links
Original article from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Journal information

Advanced Materials Technologies

Michelle D'Antoni | Research SEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht 3-D printing produces cartilage from strands of bioink
27.06.2016 | Penn State

nachricht Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool'
24.06.2016 | Northwestern University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Thousands on one chip: New Method to study Proteins

Since the completion of the human genome an important goal has been to elucidate the function of the now known proteins: a new molecular method enables the investigation of the function for thousands of proteins in parallel. Applying this new method, an international team of researchers with leading participation of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to identify hundreds of previously unknown interactions among proteins.

The human genome and those of most common crops have been decoded for many years. Soon it will be possible to sequence your personal genome for less than 1000...

Im Focus: Optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair

3D printing enables the smalles complex micro-objectives

3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines...

Im Focus: Flexible OLED applications arrive

R2D2, a joint project to analyze and development high-TRL processes and technologies for manufacture of flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been successfully completed.

In contrast to point light sources like LEDs made of inorganic semiconductor crystals, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are light-emitting surfaces. Their...

Im Focus: Unexpected flexibility found in odorant molecules

High resolution rotational spectroscopy reveals an unprecedented number of conformations of an odorant molecule – a new world record!

In a recent publication in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter...

Im Focus: 3-D printing produces cartilage from strands of bioink

Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers. "Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches," said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this."

Cartilage is a good tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting because it is made up of only one cell type and has no blood vessels within the tissue. It is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Quantum technologies to revolutionise 21st century - Nobel Laureates discuss at Lindau

30.06.2016 | Event News

International Conference ‘GEO BON’ Wants to Close Knowledge Gaps in Global Biodiversity

28.06.2016 | Event News

ERES 2016: The largest conference in the European real estate industry

09.06.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Modeling NAFLD with human pluripotent stem cell derived immature hepatocyte like cells

30.06.2016 | Health and Medicine

Rice University lab runs crowd-sourced competition to create 'big data' diagnostic tools

30.06.2016 | Life Sciences

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction

30.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>