The development of thin, flexible electronics on the basis of organic materials already enables the production of amplifiers today which can be worn on the skin like bandages. In addition to the flexibility designed to ensure wearing comfort, the signal range of the sensors comprises a major challenge. On the one hand, it determines how much information can be derived from the nerve impulses. On the other hand, it has a large influence on the speed of signal processing.
Scientists at the University of Tokyo and University of Linz have now considerably enlarged the signal range of the sensors. “We managed to cover all frequencies arising in bioelectric signals“, said Christian Siket, PhD student at the Department of Soft Matter Physics at the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Linz, and co-author of the study.
The experience of the scientists in Linz was of particular importance in helping to develop ultrathin, flexible capacitors, a key component of the new amplifier in addition to transistors. According to Christian Siket, the researchers in Japan are already considering the next step. In the future, the sensors should not be simply attached to the outer surface of the skin, but placed directly in the human body, for example in the brain. The signals received from there could be used in the future to coordinate the movements of machines or prosthesis, for example.