Article | Published:

Inflammation-free, gas-permeable, lightweight, stretchable on-skin electronics with nanomeshes

Nature Nanotechnology volume 12, pages 907913 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Thin-film electronic devices can be integrated with skin for health monitoring and/or for interfacing with machines. Minimal invasiveness is highly desirable when applying wearable electronics directly onto human skin. However, manufacturing such on-skin electronics on planar substrates results in limited gas permeability. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically investigate their long-term physiological and psychological effects. As a demonstration of substrate-free electronics, here we show the successful fabrication of inflammation-free, highly gas-permeable, ultrathin, lightweight and stretchable sensors that can be directly laminated onto human skin for long periods of time, realized with a conductive nanomesh structure. A one-week skin patch test revealed that the risk of inflammation caused by on-skin sensors can be significantly suppressed by using the nanomesh sensors. Furthermore, a wireless system that can detect touch, temperature and pressure is successfully demonstrated using a nanomesh with excellent mechanical durability. In addition, electromyogram recordings were successfully taken with minimal discomfort to the user.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the JST ERATO Bio-Harmonized Electronics Project (Grant Number:JPMJER1105). A.M. would like to thank K. Okaniwa for providing the wireless communication module. The authors would like to express their gratitude to D. D. Ordinario for his assistance in editing and proofreading the manuscript. S.H.L. would like to acknowledge the support from the SEUT Program of Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo. N.M. is supported by the Advanced Leading Graduate Course for Photon Science (ALPS) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) research fellowship for young scientists. H.J. is supported by the Graduate Program for Leaders in Life Innovation (GPLLI).

Author information

Author notes

    • Akihito Miyamoto
    •  & Sungwon Lee

    These authors contributed equally to this work

    • Sungwon Lee

    Present address: Department of Emerging Material Science, Daegu Gyeongbuk Insistute of Science & Technology (DGIST), 333, Techno Jungang-daero, Hyeonpung-myeon, Dalseong-gun, Daegu, 711-873, Korea.

Affiliations

  1. Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information Systems, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

    • Akihito Miyamoto
    • , Sungwon Lee
    • , Nawalage Florence Cooray
    • , Sunghoon Lee
    • , Mami Mori
    • , Naoji Matsuhisa
    • , Hanbit Jin
    • , Leona Yoda
    • , Tomoyuki Yokota
    • , Akira Itoh
    • , Masaki Sekino
    •  & Takao Someya
  2. Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Japan Science and Technology Agency, 2-11-16 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan

    • Akihito Miyamoto
    • , Sungwon Lee
    • , Nawalage Florence Cooray
    • , Sunghoon Lee
    • , Mami Mori
    • , Tomoyuki Yokota
    • , Akira Itoh
    • , Masaki Sekino
    •  & Takao Someya
  3. Department of Dermatology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan

    • Hiroshi Kawasaki
    • , Tamotsu Ebihara
    •  & Masayuki Amagai
  4. Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, RIKEN, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa, 230-0045, Japan

    • Hiroshi Kawasaki
    •  & Masayuki Amagai
  5. Thin-Film Device Laboratory & Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

    • Takao Someya

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Contributions

A.M., S.W.L., N.F.C., M.M. and L.Y. fabricated the nanomeshes. A.M., S.H.L., N.M., L.Y., T.Y., M.S., A.I. and T.S. performed electric and mechanical characterizations and analysis. H.K., H.J., T.E. and M.A. performed biocompatible tests. T.S., A.M. and N.M. wrote the manuscript. T.S. supervised this project.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Takao Someya.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.125