‘Intelligent plasters’ can already do more than just cover up wounds: equipped with the necessary sensors, they are able to monitor body parameters such as temperature, moisture, pH, oxygen saturation and electrical potential. But what goes on beneath the surface of the skin is a closed book to most of the sensor plasters available nowadays.
In the EU project ULIMPIA, Fraunhofer EMFT is collaborating with 17 partners from six countries on a plaster that is also capable of detecting physical processes deep inside the body – such as measuring blood pressure or monitoring the bladder. For this purpose, the researchers combine state-of-the-art MEMS ultrasound technology with innovation in compliant patch technology. The aim is to create an open technology platform for diagnostic ultrasound patches.
As part of this project, Fraunhofer EMFT is developing a packaging technology to integrate sensors and ultrasound actuators. Among other things, the aim is to create a skin-friendly, flexible sensor plaster with the necessary microelectronics components for data logging and transfer. The platform will be accessible to various users and focus on the development of medical applications.