Researchers have developed a tattoo-like sensor that could change the way that bodily functions are monitored.
The Graphene Electrical Tattoo (GET), which was unveiled by a team of scientists at the University of Texas at Austin this summer, is one of the more practical wearable devices recently developed. Led by scientists Deji Akinwande and Nanshu Lu, GET works like other electronic devices, but this skin-based sensor is attached to a temporary-tattoo like device made of graphene. Their work was published in the journal ACS Nano this summer.
Graphene is a relatively newer material that has been hailed by some in the scientific world as being a “miracle material.” It is is comprised of of 2D sheets of carbon atoms and is lightweight—roughly 200 times stronger than steel, biodegradable—and transparent. Because of this, GET can be worn for longer periods of time than other sensors.
The sensor can monitor biometrics such as heart, brain and muscle activity. If it becomes widely adopted, it could also eliminate the large, cumbersome machines that doctors currently use. So far, GET has been able to successfully mimic tests such as electrocardiograms (ECG), electromyograms (EMG), and electroencephalogram (EEG), which measure various heart and brain functions. But it can also monitor skin temperature and skin hydration, which can be harder to keep track of consistently.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.