Flexible, Paper-Thin Heart Monitor for Detailed Diagnostics

Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University, has developed a flexible, skin-like heart monitor that is sensitive enough to detect stiff arteries and cardiovascular problems. The sensor is worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist. To make the monitor so small and sensitive, Bao's team used a thin middle layer of rubber covered with tiny pyramid bumps. Each mold-made pyramid is only a few microns in diameter. When pressure is put on the device, the pyramids deform slightly, changing the size of the gap between the two halves of the device. This change in separation causes a measurable change in the electromagnetic field and the current flow in the device.