A new kind of wearable health device would deliver real-time medical data to those with eye or mouth diseases, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM).
Cheng recently published a paper in Microsystems & Nanoengineering on new micro- and nano-device technology that could revolutionize how certain health conditions are monitored and treated.
The sensors would be placed near the tear duct or mouth to collect samples, which would then produce data viewable on a user’s smartphone or sent to their doctor, according to Cheng.
The research team created the flexible transmitter in layers. Building upon previous research, they fabricated a copper mesh with a pattern of overlapping, wavy lines. This mesh makes up the bottom layer, which touches the skin, and the top layer, which serves as the radiating element in the antenna. The top layer creates a double arch when compressed and stretches when pulled — and moves between these stages in an ordered set of steps. The structured process through which the antenna mesh arches, flattens and stretches improves the overall flexibility of the layer and reduces RF fluctuations between the antenna’s states