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Bendable biosensors from flexible organic electronics

Developing wearable body sensors with the aid of Leica microscopes

Scientists at Osaka University in Japan are developing flexible sensor materials for detecting signals from the human body. The research involves soft, organic electronics and progress is being made with help from Leica microscopes. The ultimate goal is to create more biocompatible sensors which are comfortable to wear and make monitoring a person’s health more practical.

For this technology development, the scientists must collaborate across a spectrum of fields, from materials development to properties evaluation to circuit design. They use a variety of optical microscopes to perform tasks, such as:

aligning and measuring the dimensions of nanowires;

granularity analysis of crystals using polarized light;

patterning of films on the order of several hundred µm;

forming electrical contacts with dimensions of mm; and

recording micrographic images to characterize free standing films.

One of the scientists, Prof. Teppei Araki of the Sekitani Lab, stated, “a microscope may be a routine tool, but for our research it is also a really important partner.” A more in-depth description of the work on biosensors by Prof. Araki and his colleagues is available on Science Lab.

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