Stretchy, wearable device to monitor heart functioning

Stretchy, wearable device to monitor heart functioning

Using gold nanoparticles, South Korean scientists have created an ultra-thin and stretchable wearable device that can provide continuous heart rate monitoring. The device could lead to improved personal and mobile health-monitoring systems.

The researchers said that currently available wearable devices such as watches and bands are not suitable for all situations. “Rapid developments in wearable electronics have led to an urgent demand for deformable electronic devices,” the researchers said. “Most deformable memory devices reported so far, however, are just flexible. These kinds of memory devices are not compatible with wearable applications that require complicated modes of mechanical deformations such as stretching,” they said.

Future wearable systems that pursue mobile healthcare monitoring and data analysis based on high-performance bioelectronics should monolithically integrate various stretchable electronic components, such as sensors, amplifiers, and memory modules. However, there have been limited studies for system-level demonstrations using high performance, stretchable, non-volatile memory and related electronic devices.

“Here, we demonstrated reliable data storage of heart rates, which are obtained from ECG signals,” the researchers said. “The stretchable, high density, and ultra-thin memory array with the enhanced charge storage capability has great potential for various wearable electronics applications,” they pointed out.

The circuit of the device made from a stretchable silicon membrane containing gold nanoparticles which are regarded suitable for long-term memory storage.

The findings appeared in the journal Science Advances.