The stretchable device captures physiological sound signals from the body, has physical properties
«This device has a very low mass density and can be used for cardiovascular monitoring, speech recognition and
A paper on the subject was published Nov. 16 in Science Advances, a sister journal of Science. The other two
Listening in on the body
«The thin, soft,
The researchers say the new device can pick up mechanical waves that propagate through tissues and fluids in the human body due to natural physiological activity, revealing characteristic acoustical signatures of individual events. They include the opening and closing of heart valves, vibrations of the vocal cords and even movements in gastrointestinal tracts.
The sensor can also integrate electrodes that can record electrocardiogram (ECG) signals that measure the electrical activity of the heart as well electromyogram (EMG) signals that measure the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction.
While the sensor was wired to an external data acquisition system for the tests, it can easily be converted into a wireless device, said Jeong. Such sensors could be of use in remote, noisy places — including battlefields — producing quiet,
«Using the data from these sensors, a doctor at a hospital far away from a patient would be able to make a fast, accurate diagnosis," said Jeong.
Talking to machines
Vocal cord vibration signals also could be used by the military personnel or civilians to control robots, vehicles or drones. The speech recognition capabilities of the sensor also have implications for improving communication for people suffering from speech impairments, he said.
As part of the study, the team used the device to measure cardiac acoustic responses and ECG activity -including the detection of heart murmurs — in a group of elderly volunteers at Camp Lowell Cardiology, a private medical clinic in Tucson, Arizona collaborating with the University of Arizona, a project partner. The researchers also were able to detect the acoustical signals of blood clots in a related lab experiment, said Jeong.
Other CU Boulder study
The sticky, flexible polymer encapsulating the tiny device is stretchable enough to follow skin deformation, said study first author Yuhao Liu, who earned his doctorate and the University of
The researchers also showed vocal cord vibrations gathered when the device is on one’s throat can be used to control video games and other machines. As part of the study a test subject was able to control a
«While other skin electronics devices have been developed by researchers, what has not been demonstrated before is the
The study also included the Eulji University College of Medicine in Korea.