Medical Design Briefs - February 2024 - 49

n Real-Time Multimodal
Tactile Detection
System
A tactile perception systactile
infortem
provides human-like
multimodal
mation to objects like robots
and wearable devices
that require tactile data in
real time. The research team developed a real-time and multimodal
tactile detection system by mimicking the principle by
which various types of tactile information is perceived by a variety
of sensory receptors in the human skin and is transmitted to
the brain in real time.
The system consists of four three-dimensionally stacked tactile
sensors, a signal processing/transmission module, and an
analysis module. The system has successfully distinguished various
types of tactile stimuli and surface textures and furthermore
differentiated complex motion in real time.
Four types of tactile sensors, each of which detects temperature,
vibration, shear force, and vertical pressure, are laminated
in a 3D structure based on 3D flexible electrode printing
process technology. At the same time, these sensors are connected
to the flexible printed circuit board (FPCB) of the electronic
module for signal processing and transmission, thereby
easily transmitting signal-processed tactile information through
the corresponding FPCB connection terminal. (Image credit:
Korea Institute of Machinery)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0224/tactile-detection.
n Color-Based Sensor
Emulates Skin's Sensitivity
Researchers have developed a
sensor that can perceive combinations
of bending, stretching,
compression, and temperature
changes, all using a robust system
that boils down to a simple concept:
color.
Dubbed ChromoSense, the
technology relies on a translucent
rubber cylinder containing
three sections dyed red, green, and blue. An LED at the top of
the device sends light through its core, and changes in the
light's path through the colors as the device is bent or
stretched are picked up by a miniaturized spectral meter at
the bottom.
A thermosensitive section of the device also allows it to detect
temperature changes, using a special dye - similar to that in
color-changing T-shirts or mood rings - that desaturates in
color when it is heated.
ChromoSense allows for more targeted, information-dense
readings, and the sensor can be easily embedded into different
materials for different tasks. Thanks to its simple mechanical
structure and use of color over cameras, it could lend itself to
inexpensive mass production. (Image credit: EPFL/Titouan
Veuillet/Adrian Alberola Campailla)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0224/color-sensor.
Medical Design Briefs, February 2024
n Implantable Device for Diabetes
Researchers have developed an implantable
device that could provide a
long-term supply of insulin to the body.
The implant was designed to shield
insulin- producing, or islet,
cells from
damaging immune responses, while continuously
generating oxygen to sustain
them. The results of a study show that
transplanted cells within the device were
able to survive and produce insulin in animals
over the course of one month.
The bioelectronic prototype implant features an electrode
that sends electric current through nearby water molecules,
splitting them into hydrogen and oxygen. Below the electrode,
chambers housing islet cells are encapsulated in oxygen-permeable
membranes, allowing the oxygen to reach them.
To maintain a lean, wireless design, the researchers built the
device without a battery on board. Instead, an external power
source emits radio waves that are picked up by a receiver on the
device, generating electrical current. The process, known as
inductive coupling, is commonly used to wirelessly charge
smartphones and other devices.
They tested their strategy by loading devices with islet cells
from rats and implanting them into a diabetic mouse model.
Over the course of a month, they measured blood sugar levels
in the treated mice, which decreased to normal levels within a
day and held there until two days after implants were removed.
(Image credit: Claudia Liu and Dr. Siddharth Krishnan, MIT/
Boston Children's Hospital)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0224/diabetes.
n Conductive, Cotton-Based
Fiber for Smart Textiles
A single strand of fiber has the
flexibility of cotton and the electric
conductivity of a polymer,
called polyaniline. The newly developed
material showed good
potential for wearable e-textiles.
Researchers tested the fibers
with a system that powered an LED light and another that
sensed ammonia gas.
While more development is needed, the idea is to integrate
fibers like these into apparel as sensor patches with flexible circuits.
Applications include health monitoring or exercise shirts
that can do more than current fitness monitors.
While intrinsically conductive, polyaniline is brittle and by
itself, cannot be made into a fiber for textiles. To solve this, the
researchers dissolved cotton cellulose from recycled T-shirts
into a solution and the conductive polymer into another separate
solution. These two solutions were then merged together
side by side, and the material was extruded to make one fiber.
The result showed good interfacial bonding, meaning the
molecules from the different materials would stay together
through stretching and bending. (Image credit: Dean Hare,
WSU Photo Services)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0224/textiles.
www.medicaldesignbriefs.com
49
http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0224/tactile-detection http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0224/diabetes http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0224/color-sensor http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0224/textiles http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com

Medical Design Briefs - February 2024

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