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Research Papers

Mechanics of Epidermal Electronics

[+] Author and Article Information
Shuodao Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

Ming Li

State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, P. R. C.; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

Jian Wu

Department of Engineering Mechanics,  Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. C.

Dae-Hyeong Kim

School of Chemical and Biological Engineering,  Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-744, Korea

Nanshu Lu

Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics,  University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78705

Yewang Su

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

Zhan Kang

State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment,  Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, P. R. C.

Yonggang Huang1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208y-huang@northwestern.edu

John A. Rogers1

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801jrogers@uiuc.edu

1

Corresponding authors.

J. Appl. Mech 79(3), 031022 (Apr 05, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005963 History: Received September 22, 2011; Revised November 23, 2011; Posted February 13, 2012; Published April 04, 2012; Online April 05, 2012

Epidermal electronic system (EES) is a class of integrated electronic systems that are ultrathin, soft, and lightweight, such that it could be mounted to the epidermis based on van der Waals interactions alone, yet provides robust, intimate contact to the skin. Recent advances on this technology will enable many medical applications such as to monitor brain or heart activities, to monitor premature babies, to enhance the control of prosthetics, or to realize human-machine interface. In particular, the contact between EES and the skin is key to high-performance functioning of the above applications and is studied in this paper. The mechanics concepts that lead to successful designs of EES are also discussed. The results, validated by finite element analysis and experimental observations, provide simple, analytical guidelines for design and optimization of EES with various possible functionalities.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

(a) Image of a multifunctional, “skin-like” electronic system mounted to the skin on the forehead, which is used to monitor brain activity. (b) The integrated EES can be easily peeled away from the skin. (c) EES on skin remains in intimate contact with the skin when compressed. (d) EES on skin remains in intimate contact with the skin when stretched.

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Figure 2

(a) Top view of the FS-EES layouts. (b) Cross-section view of the FS-EES layouts. (c) Top view of the IPS-EES layouts. (d) Cross-section view of the IPS-EES layouts.

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Figure 3

Mechanics model analyzing the contact between EES and the skin, comparing the total energy of non-conformal contact state (top) and that of conformal contact state (bottom)

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Figure 4

Deformation map governing the conformal contact for FS-EES (curve on the right) and IPS-EES (curve on the left). The inset shows cross-section view of partial contact between IPS-EES and pig skin under confocal microscopy, with the silicone layer dyed to blue, the device to red and the skin to green. (Color figure available online.)

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Figure 5

Conformal contact requirement for FS-EES with devices of different thicknesses

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Figure 6

Contact pressure between an FS-EES and skin with different roughnesses

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Figure 7

Schematic cross-section view of EES at the interface between skin and silicone

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