Wearable graphene advance

12 Feb 2016

Experts have demonstrated that graphene devices can be directly printed into clothing and onto skin.

Academics at the UK’s University of Manchester demonstrated the breakthrough using cheap, flexible, wireless communication devices made from the 2D material, such as mobile phones and healthcare monitors.

The researchers show how graphene could be crucial to wearable electronic applications because it is highly-conductive and ultra-flexible. The breakthrough could pave the way for smart, battery-free healthcare and fitness monitoring, phones, internet-ready devices and chargers that are incorporated into clothing and ‘smart skin’ applications.

Applications in the human body see printed graphene sensors integrated with other 2D materials and stuck onto a patient’s skin to monitor temperature, strain and moisture levels.

Commenting, co-author Sir Kostya Novoselov, who with his colleague Sir Andre Geim first isolated graphene at the University in 2004, said: “Research into graphene has thrown up significant potential applications, but to see evidence that cheap, scalable wearable communication devices are on the horizon is excellent news for graphene commercial applications.”