Researchers Develop Wearable Biosensors That Mimic Skin’s Properties

16 April 2019

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Researchers at Binghamton University in New York have developed a skin-inspired, open-mesh electromechanical sensor capable of monitoring lactate and oxygen on the skin.

The wearable sensor is designed to mimic the skin's elasticity and is embedded with flexible gold sensor cables, allowing for real-time monitoring of wound healing without causing any inflammation to the wound.

Binghamton University PhD student Matthew Brown said: “This topic was interesting to us because we were very interested in real-time, on-site evaluation of wound healing progress in the near future. Both lactate and oxygen are critical biomarkers to access wound-healing progression.

We eventually hope that these sensors and engineering accomplishments can help advance healthcare applications and provide a better quantitative understanding in disease progression, wound care, general health, fitness monitoring and more,“

Biosensors typically combine a biological component with a physiochemical detector to monitor a chemical substance and its reaction in the body. According to the University, the technology still has limitations to overcome and improvements can be made.

The researchers hope for future integration of the sensor with additional biomarkers to increase functionality and are expected to expand its use to internal organs to assist with disease research.

Binghamton University biomedical engineering associate professor Ahyeon Koh said: “The bio-mimicry structured sensor platform allows free mass transfer between biological tissue and bio-interfaced electronics.

“Therefore, this intimately bio-integrated sensing system is capable of determining critical biochemical events while being invisible to the biological system or not evoking an inflammatory response.”

The findings, which were published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal noted is able to withstand harsh, multiaxial stresses during systematic studies.