The University of Waterloo has developed a 3D printed sensor to better monitor heart rate, breathing, and more.
Made of silicone rubber and thin layers of graphene, the small honeycomb-shaped device creates an electric signal when bent or in motion, which can be used by doctors to monitor patients and athletes when paired with other devices.
"Silicone gives us the flexibility and durability required for biomonitoring applications, and the added, embedded graphene makes it an effective sensor," said Ehsan Toyserkani in a release, research director at the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab at Waterloo. "It's all together in a single part."
According to a news release from the university, the device has the potential to be used for many different applications due to its flexible and durable nature.
"It can be used in the harshest environments, in extreme temperatures and humidity," said Elham Davoodi, an engineering PhD student at Waterloo who led the project. "It could even withstand being washed with your laundry."
Compared to other monitors, the university says this device will improve comfort for patients as it can be custom-made for different body types and reduce manufacturing costs.
The technology was developed alongside researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of British Columbia.