Tissue paper has been used by scientists to design a wearable sensor (Band-aid sized) that can sense a blink of an eye, a pulse, and other movements of a human. The sensor is flexible, low-priced, and light, with prospective applications in entertainment, robotics, and healthcare, as said by the researchers.
The research team at the University of Washington, the United States, demonstrated that by ripping tissue paper encumbered with nanoparticles and severing its fibers, the paper functions as a sensor. It can sense a finger force, heartbeat, eyeball movement, finger movement, and much more, as stated by the UW Associate Professor, Jae-Hyun Chung. He said, “The major breakthrough is a disposable wearable sensor fabricated with inexpensive tissue paper. When the specimen is broken by us, it will function as a sensor.”
These tiny, Band-Aid-sized sensors can have a range of applications in numerous fields. For instance, supervising the eye movement or gait of a person, this can be utilized to examine the brain function or actions of a game player. The sensor can trail how a special-needs kid strides in a home test, thus the kid won’t need to have the visits to the hospital. The sensors can also be utilized in occupational therapy for elders.
Chung said, “The sensors can be disposed of after using them for one time.” The research team utilized paper resembling toilet tissue. Then the paper is soaked with carbon nanotube-enriched water. The carbon nanotubes are small elements that generate electrical conductivity.
Every tissue paper piece has both vertical and horizontal fibers, so when the paper is ragged, the direction of the rip notifies the sensor of what has occurred. To trail the movement of the eye, they are fastened to reading glasses of a person. For the moment, the effort has been limited to a lab, and the research team is hoping to discover an appropriate commercial use.