Engineers 3D-print custom, wireless wearable sensors that never need a charge
Tracking the body’s function is becoming essential in modern society.
And a way of doing this is through sensors and devices that can effectively monitor these activities.
Wearable sensors that can monitor everything from heart rate to step count are becoming more commonplace in modern society.
Medical-grade devices come in handy in measuring the beginning of frailty in older individuals.
This would help diagnose terminal illnesses effectively, analyze the efficacy of new medications, and follow the performance of pro sports.
Researchers of the University of Arizona have designed a “Bio-symbiotic device,”
A kind of wearable device with unique features.
The devices were created using custom 3D printing.
They are based on the wearer body scans.
A unique feature they have is working indefinitely through a mix of wireless power transfer and small energy storage.
The research team is headed by Phillip Gutruf. An assistant professor of biomedical engineering and Craig M. Berge faculty fellow at the college of engineering published the research earlier today in the journal sciences advanced.
A truly unique one of a kind design,
Gutruf further added ” we introduce a new idea of custom making a device directly to a person, and using wireless device casting to allow the device function 24/7 without the need to recharge.’
Bespoke fits allow precise monitoring of the entire body.
The concept of wearable sensors isn’t exactly a novel idea, smartwatches offer the same capabilities, but it comes with several drawbacks, for example, limited battery life and a restricted amount of data due to their wrist placement.
Gutruf and his team can 3dprint bespoke devices that wrap around different parts of the body using 3D scans of a wearer’s body.
This can be obtained using methods such as CT scans, MRIs and even smartphone photos.
The uniqueness of this design allows a nearly invisible, lightweight, breathable mesh cuff designed for your calf, bicep or torso.
Scientists can now identify physiological markers that previously was inaccessible because of the capacity to customize sensor placement.
The bio-symbiotic devices are extremely sensitive because of their precise match to the wearer.
The team monitored the device’s ability to measure characteristics such as strain and temperature when a person walked, jumped on a treadmill and used a rowing machine.
The device was precise enough to identify the difference in body heat caused by a single flight of stairs.
Continuous, Effortless and Wireless wearable sensors
As previously stated, the concept of wearable sensors are not new, But current wearables cannot in real-time track parameters with enough precision to draw medically significant conclusions.
patches that stick to the skin but detaches when the skin sheds or a patient sweats, are some of the wearables researchers use.
This is a major concern eb]ven in health care settings, such as ECG they are also not mobile and require a steady stream of charging.
patients attached to large external gadgets are unable to go on their routine.
Gutruf’s Bio-symbiotic device requires no adhesive, it is also a wireless system with a range of several meters to power it.
a small energy storage unit also allows the device to work even when the wearer leaves the system’s range.
Funding was provided by the Flinn foundation translational bioscience seed grants pilot program.
Furthermore, the team is partnering with Tech Develop Arizona,
the University’s commercial arm to protect intellectual property and launch a firm to commercialise the technology.
Source: Sciences Advanced, Youtube