Register for updates

 
 

Computers & Technology
RSS Feed
Nanotech "Tattoo" Can Map Emotions and Monitor Muscle Activity
Monday, July 11, 2016 10:48:00 AM

Novel skin electrode is comfortable and has endless commercial and medical applications, says TAU researcher

A new temporary "electronic tattoo" developed by Tel Aviv University that can measure the activity of muscle and nerve cells researchers is poised to revolutionize medicine, rehabilitation, and even business and marketing research.

The tattoo consists of a carbon electrode, an adhesive surface that attaches to the skin, and a nanotechnology-based conductive polymer coating that enhances the electrode's performance. It records a strong, steady signal for hours on end without irritating the skin.

The electrode, developed by Prof. Yael Hanein, head of TAU's Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, may improve the therapeutic restoration of damaged nerves and tissue — and may even lead to new insights into our emotional life.

Prof. Hanein's research was published last month in Scientific Reports and presented at an international nanomedicine program held at TAU.

"Stick it on and forget about it"

One major application of the new electrode is the mapping of emotion by monitoring facial expressions through electric signals received from facial muscles. "The ability to identify and map people's emotions has many potential uses," said Prof. Hanein. "Advertisers, pollsters, media professionals, and others — all want to test people's reactions to various products and situations. Today, with no accurate scientific tools available, they rely mostly on inevitably subjective questionnaires.

"Researchers worldwide are trying to develop methods for mapping emotions by analyzing facial expressions, mostly via photos and smart software," Prof. Hanein continued. "But our skin electrode provides a more direct and convenient solution."

The device was first developed as an alternative to electromyography, a test that assesses the health of muscles and nerve cells. It's an uncomfortable and unpleasant medical procedure that requires patients to lie sedentary in the lab for hours on end. Often a needle is stuck into muscle tissue to record its electrical activity, or patients are swabbed with a cold, sticky gel and attached to unwieldy surface electrodes.

"Our tattoo permits patients to carry on with their daily routines, while the electrode monitors their muscle and nerve activity," said Prof. Hanein. "The idea is: stick it on and forget about it."

Applications for rehabilitation and more

According to Prof. Hanein, the new skin electrode has other important therapeutic applications. The tattoo will be used to monitor the muscle activity of patients with neurodegenerative diseases in a study at Tel Aviv Medical Center.

"But that's not all," said Prof. Hanein. "The physiological data measured in specific muscles may be used in the future to indicate the alertness of drivers on the road; patients in rehabilitation following stroke or brain injury may utilize the 'tattoo' to improve muscle control; and amputees may employ it to move artificial limbs with remaining muscles."

The electrode is the product of a European Research Council (ERC) project and received support from the BSMT Consortium of Israel's Ministry of Economy.




Latest News

"Robat" Uses Sound to Navigate and Map Unique Environments

New robot mimics bats' ability to employ sonar to navigate its surroundings, TAU researchers say.

Smartphones May Be Used to Better Predict the Weather

Data could be harnessed to forecast flash floods and other natural disasters, TAU researchers say.

Genome Analysis of 6,500-Year-Old Human Remains in Israeli Cave Points to Origin of Ancient Chalcolithic Culture

Skeletons buried in Israel's Upper Galilee reveal migration from ancient Turkey and Iran, TAU researchers say.

Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute Opens at TAU’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

Institute's cutting-edge technology provides new tools for research into the origin and development of modern humans.

In Neutron Stars, Protons May Do the Heavy Lifting

New TAU/MIT/ODU study finds that a small fraction of protons in neutron-dense objects can significantly impact their properties.

Microscale Superlubricity Could Pave Way for Future Improved Electromechanical Devices

Discovery may lead to more robust computer hard discs, TAU and Tsinghua University researchers say.

New Study Offers Hope of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury

Novel enzyme treatment may reduce inflammation and scarring that prevent neuronal regeneration, TAU researchers say.

Link Found Between Resilience to Dyslexia and Gray Matter in the Frontal Brain

High density of neurons in frontal cortex important for successful reading, TAU researchers say.

Brain Arousal Compound Noradrenaline Plays Critical Role in Sensory Perception

Discovery paves way for detecting situations of dangerous lapses and for improving anesthesia protocols, TAU researchers say.

Compounds Found in Green Tea and Wine May Block Formation of Toxic Metabolites

Discovery may pave the way for therapies to treat inborn congenital metabolic disorders, TAU researchers say.

contentSecondary
c

© 2018 American Friends of Tel Aviv University
39 Broadway, Suite 1510 | New York, NY 10006 | 212.742.9070 | info@aftau.org
Privacy policy | Tel Aviv University