With the advent of “electronic tattoos, ” it has become apparent that they are much more comfortable and durable than electrodes that have long been used to monitor the heart of patients with cardiovascular disease.
A new device in the form of an electronic tattoo was developed by a team of researchers at the University of Texas, led by Associate Professor Nanshu Lu. The device is much more accurate and monitors the heart in two ways - using electrocardiography (ECG) and seismocardiography (SCG).
As a reminder, the ECG records electrical activity with each heartbeat. SCG, in turn, measures the vibrations in the chest that accompany the heartbeat. According to scientists, with the help of SCG it is possible to control the accuracy of ECG readings.
The device includes two thin-film sensors. One is made from gold and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and the other is made from a polymer known as polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). The latter is piezoelectric, that is, it generates an electrical charge upon mechanical action. Both transducers are attached to a thin sheet of transparent 3M Tegaderm medical dressing.
Glued to the chest in the heart area, the electronic tattoo is easily stretched along with the skin during movement, without causing discomfort to the patient. Currently, the device works in conjunction with a computer, but in the future, it is planned to create a wireless version for a smartphone.