The University of Hong Kong (HKU) Faculty of Engineering researchers have created a coin-sized device that can sense weak electrochemical signals and be utilised for individualised health monitoring and evaluation of disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health.
The Personalised Electronic Reader for Electrochemical Transistors, or PERfECT System, is the smallest device of its kind in the world, measuring 1.5 cm by 1.5 cm by 0.2 cm and weighing only 0.4 gramme. It is conveniently wearable and may be used to continuously monitor biosignals including blood glucose levels, antibody concentrations in perspiration, and smartwatch integrations or as a patch.
“Our wearable system is tiny, soft and imperceptible to wearers, and it can do continuous monitoring of our body condition. These features mean it has the potential to revolutionise healthcare technology,” said Dr Shiming Zhang of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who leads the HKU WISE (wearable, intelligent and soft electronics) Research Group to develop the system.
Because of their water stability and high sensitivity at low operating voltage (millivolts), organic electrochemical transistors are widely regarded as the next generation of sensing technology. However, up until now, they needed a miniaturised wireless system to operate within.
It is filled by the PERFECT wearable system. With a data sampling rate of up to 200 kilosamples per second, it can accurately characterise the electrochemical transistor’s entire performance, providing performance comparable to expensive, bulky commercial equipment. However, the cost is merely 10% of the commercial price. It may also measure the outputs of other varieties of low-voltage transistors, such as electrolyte-gated field effect transistors and high-k dielectric-gated transistors, and act as a miniature electrochemical station for wearable technology.
The system could be used right away in numerous low-voltage transistor-based wearable systems. SESIC, a start-up business founded by Dr. Zhang’s team, has been created to make the technology available.
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