MIT engineers have developed sweat-proof e-skin. It is a comfortable adhesive dressing with a built-in sensor that monitors a person’s health without interruption and does not peel off even when the user is sweating.
The new patch has a pattern of artificial sweat ducts, similar to the pores in human skin. The authors of the development etched them through ultra-thin layers of material. The pores are perforated with a plaster in the manner of a kirigami. The design ensures that sweat can escape through the patch, preventing skin irritation and damage to the built-in sensors.
The kirigami design also helps the patch adhere to the human skin as it stretches and flexes. This flexibility, combined with the material’s ability to resist sweat, allows it to keep a person’s health in check for extended periods of time. This was not possible before.
The new e-skin is equipped with sensors to monitor temperature, hydration, UV exposure, and pulse. During the experiment, the patch received reliable measurements even during physical exertion when the user was sweating heavily.
The new development is a step towards creating long-lasting smart skin that will track daily vital signs or the progression of skin cancer and other conditions.
The results of the study are published in the journal Science Advances.