Palm e-Tattoo can tell you when you’re feeling stressed

Summary: The newly developed “electronic tattoo” monitors electrical activity in the skin, detecting when a person is experiencing high levels of stress. The “tattoo” is attached to the user’s palm and connected to a smart watch.

Source: UtahAustin

Our palms tell us a lot about our emotional state because they tend to get wet when people are excited or stressed. This feedback is used to measure emotional stress and help people with mental health problems, but the devices to do this are now bulky, unreliable, and social stigma may persist by attaching highly visible sensors to visible parts of the body. the body.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University have applied emerging electronic watermarking (e-tattooing) technology to this type of monitoring, known as electrical skin activity or EDA sensing.

In a new research article recently published in Communication of NatureResearchers have created a graphene-based electronic tattoo that sticks to the palm of the hand, is nearly invisible and connects to a smart watch.

said Nanshu Lu, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and head of the project company.

Lu and his collaborators have been developing electronic watermarking technology for many years. Graphene is a preferred material because of its thinness and its ability to measure the electrical potential of the human body, which allows for very accurate readings.

But this ultra-thin material cannot withstand much, if any, stress. It is therefore difficult to place them on parts of the body that involve a lot of movement, such as

The secret of this discovery is how an electronic tattoo on the palm of the hand is able to successfully transmit data to a hard-wired circuit – in this case, a commercially available, non-laboratory mobile smartwatch. They used a serpentine band with two partially overlapping layers of graphene and gold.

Illustration of an electronic tattoo attached to a palm and a smart watch reader. Credit: University of Texas at Austin

By flexing the strap back and forth, it can withstand the pressure that comes with hand movement for daily activities such as holding the steering wheel while driving, opening doors, running, etc.

Current palm monitoring technology uses large electrodes that fall out and are highly visible, or EDA sensors applied to other parts of the body, which give a less accurate reading.

Other researchers tried similar methods using straight, nanometer-thick strips to connect the tattoo to the reader, but they couldn’t withstand the stress of constant movement.

Lu said the researchers drew inspiration from reported virtual reality (VR), games and metaverses for this research. Virtual reality is used in some cases to treat mental illness; However, the ability to perceive a person in virtual reality is still lacking in many aspects.

“You want to know if people are responding to this treatment,” Lu said. “Are you helping them? Right now it’s hard to say. »

About this Neurotechnology News Search

author: Press office
Source: UtahAustin
Contact: Press Office – UT Austin
image: Image credited to UT Austin

Original research: free access.
Graphene electronic tattoos to detect electrical activity of unimpeded movable skin on the palm by heterogeneous serpentine ribbons.From Hongwoo Jang et al. Communication of Nature

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summary

Graphene electronic tattoos to detect electrical activity of unimpeded movable skin on the palm by heterogeneous serpentine ribbons.

Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a common indicator of mental stress. Modern EDA sensors suffer from palm occlusion or reduced fidelity of the palm signal. Our previous invention of the sub-micron thin graphene electronic watermark (GET) is ideal for the unobstructed detection of EDA in the palm.

However, the strong electrical connection between ultra-thin devices and solid circuit boards is a long-lost component of mobile use.

To reduce the known stress concentration at their interfaces, we offer heterogeneous serpentine strips (HSPR), which means GET serpentine partially coated with gold serpentine without additional adhesive.

A fifty-fold stress reduction in HSPRs compared to heterologous straight bands (HSTRs) has been discovered and understood. The combination of HSPR and the soft layer between the GET and the EDA wristband enabled EDA mobile monitoring in the palm of the hand under free-living conditions.

Our new EDA event selection policy that uses unbiased organization event selection has validated our GET EDA sensor to the gold standard.

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