Research ArticleENGINEERING

A durable nanomesh on-skin strain gauge for natural skin motion monitoring with minimum mechanical constraints

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Science Advances  12 Aug 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 33, eabb7043
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7043

Abstract

Ultraconformable strain gauge can be applied directly to human skin for continuous motion activity monitoring, which has seen widespread application in interactive robotics, human motion detection, personal health monitoring, and therapeutics. However, the development of an on-skin strain gauge that can detect human body motions over a long period of time without disturbing the natural skin movements remains a challenge. Here, we present an ultrathin and durable nanomesh strain gauge for continuous motion activity monitoring that minimizes mechanical constraints on natural skin motions. The device is made from reinforced polyurethane-polydimethylsiloxane (PU-PDMS) nanomeshes and exhibits excellent sustainability, linearity, and durability with low hysteresis. Its thinness geometry and softness provide minimum mechanical interference on natural skin deformations. During speech, the nanomesh-attached face exhibits skin strain mapping comparable to that of a face without nanomeshes. We demonstrate long-term facial stain mapping during speech and the capability for real-time stable full-range body movement detection.

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