Circuit boards are often hard, but U.S. and Chinese researchers have teamed up to develop a thin, flexible circuit board and proof-of-concept "smart bandages" that attach to the skin to monitor various physiological signals.
The "smart bandage" consists of four layers of interconnected thin flexible circuit boards that are about the size and thickness of a $1 coin, according to a cover article published Tuesday in the British journal nature electronics.
The circuit board USES an "island-bridge" structure based on a silicon elastomer, where the "island" is a rigid small electronic device such as a sensor, antenna, bluetooth chip, and so on, the researchers said.The bridge is a stretch of copper wire used to connect the island, allowing the circuit board to flex and bend without compromising its function.
'the design challenge is not stacking circuit boards,' says xu sheng, a professor of nanoengineering at the university of California, San Diego, who co-authored the paper.
The "smart bandages" made from flexible circuit boards are versatile and can be attached to different parts of the body to record ecg, eeg, eye movements and muscle behaviour, the researchers said.