Wearable Antenna for Health Monitoring

Staying in the hospital while you’re sick could be no longer necessary. The North Carolina State University is developing an antenna able to monitor recovering people conditions even if they leave their hospital bed. A wearable sensor can track the bioelectronic signals, like hydration and temperature, and send them to the doctor via a flexible antenna made of silver nano wires.

Dr. Yong Zhu, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, explained that the antenna remains functional even when it is curved, twisted or stretched. “This is important for wearable applications because the wearable devices can be subject to a variety of deformation as the patients move around” he told to Live Science.

Via NC State University:

“To create an appropriately resilient, effective antenna, the researchers used a stencil to apply silver nanowires in a specific pattern and then poured a liquid polymer over the nanowires. When the polymer sets, it forms an elastic composite material that has the nanowires embedded in the desired pattern.

This patterned material forms the radiating element of a microstrip patch antenna. By manipulating the shape and dimensions of the radiating element, the researchers can control the frequency at which the antenna sends and receives signals. The radiating layer is then bonded to a “ground” layer, which is made of the same composite, except it has a continuous layer of silver nanowires embedded.”

The next step for the researchers will be to integrate bioelectronic signal-measuring sensors in the antenna, to form a prototype remote health monitoring system, revealed Dr. Zhu.

Read more on NC State University

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