Researchers at Purdue are developing a sticker with the potential to monitor the wearer's physical activity and to alert to potential health risks.
Ramses Martinez, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and industrial engineering leading the research, says the stickers "easily attach to (the wearer's) skin and are made out of paper to lower the cost of personalized medicine."
Martinez's research was recently published in ACS Advanced Materials and Interfaces, a journal for chemists, physicians, engineers and biologists focused on how newly-discovered materials can be developed and used for scientific applications.
The team's "smart stickers" are made of cellulose and covered in molecules that repel oil, dust, water and bacteria to prevent the paper from falling off the skin due to water or sweat exposure.
The stickers can be used by athletes to monitor their health while exercising, or by healthcare providers to monitor patient's sleep. They are largely unnoticeable to the wearer due to their snake-shaped material, allowing them to easily move with human skin.
The cost of manufacturing one sticker is about 5 cents, and the stickers can be mass-produced through processes similar to those used to print books. This process creates the potential for cheap, easily accessible means to monitor recovering patients even after they have left the hospital.
The stickers are patented through the Purdue Office of Technology and Commercialization, who are currently looking for partners to test and commercialize this technology.
This research is a continuation of Purdue's Giant Leaps, which celebrates Purdue's global advancements in health, and part of the year-long festivities celebrating the University's 150th anniversary.