Low-Cost, Graphene Device Could Help Monitor a Baby’s Health. Physicists have developed a graphene-based liquid that can sense tiny changes in breathing and heart rate.
“Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK could potentially provide a wire-free solution, either via a tiny Fitbit-like bracelet or with tubes sewn into a baby’s clothing.
The team of physicists has developed a liquid made from an emulsion of graphene, water and oil. Graphene is a nanomaterial made from carbon atoms. It’s become the darling of materials scientists in recent years because of its strength, flexibility, electrical conductivity and—importantly—its affordability. The team put the graphene emulsion inside a tiny tube. When the tube was stretched ever so slightly, the conductivity of the emulsion changed. The prototype device is so sensitive it can detect subtle bodily movements, like breathing and pulse rates.
The researchers suspect the tiny graphene-filled tube could be a cheap, unobtrusive monitor for sick babies and for adults with breathing problems, such as sleep apnea. It could also be sold as a baby product to parents worried about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), potentially in the form of a wearable suit to monitor a baby’s vital signs. Beyond these applications, it’s quite possible it could also be used to create a more advanced generation of wearables for both amateur and professional athletes.”
Source: Alerts Smithsonian