by Kathy Chambers 19 Aug, 2014 in
Thanks to microfluidics, you may soon be able to easily and continually monitor your health with the help of Northwestern University’s new wearable, stretchable monitors. Yonggang Huang, a Northwestern University professor, and John A. Rogers, a University of Illinois professor, have designed thin, soft, stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring. These microfluidic devices can be laminated onto the skin to track everyday health and wirelessly send updates to your cellphone, computer, or doctor’s office. The U.S. Department of Defense’s National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship of Energy, the Korean Foundation for International Cooperation of Science and Technology, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided support for this work.
Microfluidics is a multidisciplinary technology that deals with the science of building microminiaturized devices with channels for the containment and flow of fluids. At least one or more of these channels will have a dimension less than 1 mm. Areas of potential use in physiological health range from neonatal intensive care monitoring to pharmaceutical monitoring, electrocardiogram testing, stress and sleep testing to fitness tracking. Many medical problems or illnesses could be prevented and medical conditions caught before their onset.
The patch developed at Northwestern University incorporates a unique microfluidic construction with a thin elastic envelope filled with fluid. The chip components are suspended in a small amount of fluid, allowing them to move about on the patch as it stretches...Read more...