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posted by martyb on Sunday October 10, @08:52AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Engineers 3D-Print Personalized, Wireless Wearables That Never Need a Charge:

University of Arizona engineers have developed a type of wearable they call a "biosymbiotic device," which has several unprecedented benefits. Not only are the devices custom 3D-printed and based on body scans of wearers, but they can operate continuously using a combination of wireless power transfer and compact energy storage. The team, led by Philipp Gutruf, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and Craig M. Berge Faculty Fellow in the College of Engineering, published its findings today in the journal Science Advances.

[...] Current wearable sensors face various limitations. Smartwatches, for example, need to be charged, and they can only gather limited amounts of data due to their placement on the wrist. By using 3D scans of a wearer's body, which can be gathered via methods including MRIs, CT scans and even carefully combined smartphone images, Gutruf and his team can 3D-print custom-fitted devices that wrap around various body parts. Think a virtually unnoticeable, lightweight, breathable, mesh cuff designed specifically for your bicep, calf or torso. The ability to specialize sensor placement allows researchers to measure physiological parameters they otherwise couldn't.

[...] Because these biosymbiotic devices are custom fitted to the wearer, they're also highly sensitive. Gutruf's team tested the device's ability to monitor parameters including temperature and strain while a person jumped, walked on a treadmill and used a rowing machine. In the rowing machine test, subjects wore multiple devices, tracking exercise intensity and the way muscles deformed with fine detail. The devices were accurate enough to detect body temperature changes induced by walking up a single flight of stairs.

Video on YouTube.

Journal Reference:
Tucker Stuart, Kevin Albert, Kasper Ifechukwude, et al. Biosymbiotic, personalized, and digitally manufactured wireless devices for indefinite collection of high-fidelity biosignals. Science Advances, 2021 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abj3269

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  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday October 10, @09:26AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday October 10, @09:26AM (#1185901) Journal

    If those devices need to be custom fitted, how well do they react to changes in the body, such as gaining or losing weight or muscle mass? Especially if you intend to use them as fitness trackers, weight changes, as well as changes in the size of your muscles, are pretty much expected.

    Replacing the need of a charge by the need of a new device wouldn't really be progress.

    On the positive side, if it only works on your body, not on anyone else's, it could make a great authentication device.

    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Opportunist on Sunday October 10, @12:11PM (2 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday October 10, @12:11PM (#1185908)

    They break before the battery is dead.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Dr Spin on Sunday October 10, @08:17PM (1 child)

      by Dr Spin (5239) on Sunday October 10, @08:17PM (#1185966)

      "Guaranteed for life" means that, if its dead, the guarantee has expired.

      Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Opportunist on Sunday October 10, @10:24PM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday October 10, @10:24PM (#1185992)

        A lifetime guarantee only means that your guarantee is void the moment the item expires.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, @02:39PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, @02:39PM (#1185927)

    What is glue and material?

    Diabetic sensor glue, chem-burns my skin. Even though Taga-derm barrier! sensor is oval, taga-derm is "square", just the oval area is burned. Manufacture will only tell what the glue is not. Not which to 3800+ glues that are left.

    Diabetic pump is better, just lite redding that goes away in a day.

    Heart monitor, leave "lighting-bolt" burn after 3 weeks removed. Why I tear the heart monitors leads from my skin.

    Note: even the lowly band-aid or the "does not stick to your skin" covant, used for blood draws.

    Great you can print it. Meaningless, if does damage to the wearer.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, @06:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, @06:30PM (#1186234)

      > lowly band-aid

      An elderly relative had this problem--in the hospital we put up a sign over the bed:

                        No Adhesive--Paper-thin Skin

      Of course some things they had to glue on, but one very nice nurse remembered that there was an adhesive remover available. Seemed like some sort of thick oil that very slowly releases the glue, packaged in a small tear-open packet. That same nice nurse had the patience to remove the adhesives very slowly (1 minute per band-aid?) and they came off with no skin damage.

      Good luck with your other problems. For the glue ingredients, if you can find the name of the product there might be an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) available?

      A friend had a scalp wound glued together (instead of stitches) with something like superglue (I've forgotten the product name). The MSDS noted that there was a solvent to get it off (it was stuck all over her hair)...but in the end she chose to let it grow out--the solvent was acetone.