Research highlight

Materials science: A sight for sore eyes

Nature Communications

January 8, 2014

A method for transferring thin, flexible, transparent electronic devices onto almost any surface is reported in Nature Communications this week. Devices could even be wrapped around a human hair while continuing to function. Coupled with biocompatibility, this opens up new possibilities for smart contact lenses that could be used for health monitoring.

The ability to create wearable health sensors hinges on being able to transfer thin, flexible devices onto many surfaces. Giovanni Salvatore and his group have developed a simple technique that allows for transistor devices to be freed from a thick substrate by dissolving an under-layer in water. The remaining substrate, which supports the devices, can be transparent and can stick to flexible objects and biological tissue. The researchers show the potential of this method by transferring pressure sensors onto contact lenses, which could be used for monitoring glaucoma.

The versatility of this simple technique may open up further possibilities for smart health sensors.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms3982

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