Researchers at Imperial College London have developed an incredibly strong bond to connect stretchy and squeezy soft sensors to electrical components using small pieces of metal coated silicon. The silicon contacts are smooth on one side and pitted and plated with copper on the other side. The smooth side facilitates bonding to rubber and the other side facilitates the soldering of wires or other electrical components. This bonding method has shown amazing resistance when testing and could be used within rehabilitation for example as a squeezy ball for monitoring hand rehabilitation, and in healthcare for example as a wearable breathing monitor or a leg band for exercise monitoring.
Dr Firat Güder, from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial and lead researcher, said: “Having successfully demonstrated how this new bonding approach could work and be applied in laboratory prototypes, we now want to take this technology out of the lab and make it available to everyone.”
“New bond method could lead to cheaper, portable soft monitoring sensors“
Michael Kasimatis, from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial and first author, said: “We hope this method will allow us to make low-cost soft sensors that are reliable and portable, that can be used to monitor people’s health in their own homes. Such sensors could be coupled with a mobile device, such as a smartphone, so that the data they generate can be easily processed and stored on the cloud, which is important for applications in digital healthcare.”