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News Release from Northwestern University on August 11, 2011.


(c) flickr & cs dima


Tattoo Electronics
Electronics Can be Seen on the Skin But Not Felt, Show Promise for Medical Applications

Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed “tattoo electronics” -- wireless electronics so flexible and thin they can be applied to the skin and forgotten.

“The blurring of electronics and biology is the key point here,” said Yonggang Huang, who led the theory and design work at Northwestern. “All established forms of electronics are hard, rigid. Biology is soft, elastic. It’s two different worlds. We found a way to truly integrate them.”

The high-performance epidermal electronic system mounts directly onto the skin with the ease, flexibility and comfort of a temporary tattoo. The system could be used for monitoring brain, heart and muscle tissue activity; wound measurement and treatment; biological and chemical sensing; computer gaming and covert communications.

The study will be published in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Science.

“The electronics can be seen but not felt,” said Huang, the Joseph Cummings Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. “Human skin is rough, but our electronics are able to follow the skin morphology and adhere like a temporary tattoo.”

The challenge for Huang and his colleagues was to make the thickness and stiffness of the electronic system similar to that of skin. The researchers accomplished this through a serpentine design of electronic nanoribbons.

The circuits for the various components are fabricated as tiny, squiggled wires.

Tattoo:刺青,タトゥー Electronics:電子機器
Show Promise for:~に有望である
Researchers:研究者 wireless:無線の flexible:柔軟な
blurring:区別をあいまいにすること electronics:電子工学 biology:生物学 established:定着した rigid:硬い elastic:しなやかな integrate:~を一体化する
high-performance:高性能の epidermal:表皮の flexibility:柔軟性 brain:脳 tissue:組織 wound:創傷 sensing:検出 covert communications:秘密通信
Civil and Environmental Engineering:土木・環境工学 Mechanical Engineering:機械工学 morphology:形態 adhere:接着する
colleagues:研究仲間,同僚 thickness:厚さ stiffness:堅さ serpentine:ヘビのような nanoribbons:ナノリボン
circuits:回路 are fabricated:作製される squiggled:くねくねした



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