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Soft and Stretchable Polymeric Optical Waveguide-Based Sensors for Wearable and Biomedical Applications

1
State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and Instruments, Department of Precision Instruments, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3771; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19173771
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 23 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 30 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Soft Sensors)
The past decades have witnessed the rapid development in soft, stretchable, and biocompatible devices for applications in biomedical monitoring, personal healthcare, and human–machine interfaces. In particular, the design of soft devices in optics has attracted tremendous interests attributed to their distinct advantages such as inherent electrical safety, high stability in long-term operation, potential to be miniaturized, and free of electromagnetic interferences. As the alternatives to conventional rigid optical waveguides, considerable efforts have been made to develop light-guiding devices by using various transparent and elastic polymers, which offer desired physiomechanical properties and enable wearable/implantable applications in optical sensing, diagnostics, and therapy. Here, we review recent progress in soft and stretchable optical waveguides and sensors, including advanced structural design, fabrication strategies, and functionalities. Furthermore, the potential applications of those optical devices for various wearable and biomedical applications are discussed. It is expected that the newly emerged soft and stretchable optical technologies will provide a safe and reliable alternative to next-generation, smart wearables and healthcare devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable and implantable devices; polymer optical waveguides; optical sensing and sensors wearable and implantable devices; polymer optical waveguides; optical sensing and sensors
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Guo, J.; Yang, C.; Dai, Q.; Kong, L. Soft and Stretchable Polymeric Optical Waveguide-Based Sensors for Wearable and Biomedical Applications. Sensors 2019, 19, 3771.

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