Researchers developed a tattoo-like film that will enable doctors to monitor vital signs without the burdensome wiring and electrodes.
"What we are trying to do here is to really reshape and redefine electronics...to look a lot more like the human body, in this case the surface layers of the skin," John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois told CBS News. "The goal is really to blur the distinction between electronics and biological tissue," he added.
Researchers said that they are able to embed electronic sensors in a film thinner than human hair and place it on a polyester backing. The sensor, similar to a tattoo, curves with human skin.
The bandage-like device is enabled by a weak force called the van der Waals force, which causes molecules and surfaces to stick together.
Heart rate and temperature monitoring would become infinitely simpler if this device were to become widely available. The device could also monitor brain waves, help with muscle movement, sense the larynx for speech, and give off heat in order to help heal wounds with greater efficiency.
The findings were published in a paper Friday in the journal Science.