Wearable Tissue Paper Sensors can Track Vital Physical Activities

Wearable Tissue Paper Sensors can Track Vital Physical Activities

Engineers from University of Washington have developed a wearable sensor from tissue paper, which can detect a pulse, a blink of an eye and other human movement.

The study was published in journal Advanced Materials Technologies in February 2018. Findings of the study revealed that the tissue paper acts as a sensor after tearing the paper loaded with nanocomposites and breaking the paper’s fibers. The sensor is light, flexible and inexpensive, which has applications in health care, entertainment and robotics.

According to the Jae-Hyun Chung, a UW associate professor of mechanical engineering and senior author of the research, the sensor can detect a heartbeat, finger force, finger movement, and eyeball movement. “The major innovation is a disposable wearable sensor made with cheap tissue paper,” said Chung. These sensor can monitor the movement of eyes, which can be used to inspect brain function or a game player’s actions. Also, the sensor can monitor children for various diseases and common flu.

Research team used paper similar to toilet tissue, which was saturated with carbon nanotube-laced water. Electrical conductivity is created using carbon nanotubes, which has horizontal and vertical fibers. Direction of tearing paper informs the sensor of regarding the activity. For instance, the paper sensor is attached to the glasses of person whose eye movement is to be tracked. Researchers are working on finding commercial application of this technology. A provisional patent for this technology was filed in December 2017.

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