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Mechanisms and Materials of Flexible and Stretchable Skin Sensors

Biomedical Engineering, School of Precision Instrument and Opto-Electronics Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
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Academic Editors: Seung Hwan Ko, Daeho Lee and Zhigang Wu
Micromachines 2017, 8(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi8030069
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible and Stretchable Electronics)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexible electronics; stretchable electronics; skin sensors; precision medicine; health monitoring; wearable technology flexible electronics; stretchable electronics; skin sensors; precision medicine; health monitoring; wearable technology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, Y.; Huang, X. Mechanisms and Materials of Flexible and Stretchable Skin Sensors. Micromachines 2017, 8, 69.

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