Wearable technology has attracted significant public attention and has generated huge societal and economic impact, leading to changes of both personal lifestyles and formats of healthcare. An important type of devices in wearable technology is flexible and stretchable skin sensors used primarily for biophysiological signal sensing and biomolecule analysis on skin. These sensors offer mechanical compatibility to human skin and maximum compliance to skin morphology and motion, demonstrating great potential as promising alternatives to current wearable electronic devices based on rigid substrates and packages. The mechanisms behind the design and applications of these sensors are numerous, involving profound knowledge about the physical and chemical properties of the sensors and the skin. The corresponding materials are diverse, featuring thin elastic films and unique stretchable structures based on traditional hard or ductile materials. In addition, the fabrication techniques that range from complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication to innovative additive manufacturing have led to various sensor formats. This paper reviews mechanisms, materials, fabrication techniques, and representative applications of flexible and stretchable skin sensors, and provides perspective of future trends of the sensors in improving biomedical sensing, human machine interfacing, and quality of life.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited