UW Researchers Turned Tissue Paper into Wearable Sensors

UW Researchers Turned Tissue Paper into Wearable Sensors
Image credits: University of Washington

UW Researchers Turned Tissue Paper into Wearable Sensors

UW Researchers Turned Tissue Paper into Wearable Sensors that can Track Human Movement

UW Researchers Turned Tissue Paper into Wearable Sensors, a new kind of Band-Aid sized wearable sensors that can detect a heartbeat, a blink of an eye, finger force, finger movement, eyeball movement and other human movements. Engineers have come up with a light, flexible, and inexpensive wearable sensors that could be used for various potential applications including healthcare, entertainment, and robotics. These sensors can be used one-time and then can be thrown away.
Researchers showed that on tearing tissue paper that is loaded with nanoparticles and breaking its fibers, the paper acts as a sensor.
“The major innovation is a disposable Band-Aid sized wearable sensor made with cheap tissue paper which when break, will work as a sensor and can detect a heartbeat, blink of eye and more,” says Jae-Hyun Chung, an associate professor at the University of Washington and senior author of the journal Advanced Materials Technologies.
The scientists use toilet paper similar to tissue paper and soaked with carbon nanotube-laced water and get loaded with nanocomposites. Nano-composites are tiny particles that produce electrical conductivity. So when the paper is torn, the horizontal and vertical fibers on the paper get break resulting in changing the direction of the tear and tear informs the sensor of what’s happened.
According to Jae-Hyun Chung, the small wearable sensors can be used in variety of applications like monitoring a person’s gait or the movement of their eyes, could be used in occupational therapy for seniors, even can track how a special-needs child walks in a home test, sparing the child the need for hospital visits, and many more. The plausibility of the application of these sensors is high in numerous fields. For now, the work has been contained in a laboratory, but researchers hope to find a suitable commercial use.

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