New Stretchable, Wearable Sensor Based on Chewing Gum

A new, super stretchy sensor is on its way thanks to an unexpected pairing of chewing gum and carbon nanotubes. Researchers from Canada's Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and the University of Manitoba have developed a novel way to fabricate an elastic, attachable, and cost-efficient carbon nanotube (CNT)-based strain gauge that can be efficiently used as bodily motion sensors. In this design, CNTs are aligned and distributed uniformly on the entire chewing gum membrane by multiple stretching and folding techniques. The current sensor is demonstrated to be a linear strain sensor for at least strains up to 200% and can detect strains as high as 530% with a high sensitivity ranging from 12 to 25 and high durability. The gum sensor has been used as bodily motion sensors and the sensitivity is quite high, capable of tracing slow breathing. Since the gum sensor can be patterned into various forms, it has wide applications in miniaturized sensors and biochips. The gum sensor also has the ability to monitor humidity changes with high sensitivity and fast resistance response capable of monitoring human breathing.