Researchers at IMEC are aiming to produce an intelligent flexible band-aid that will contain all the necessary technology for sensing and communicating with a nearby base station.
They believe that such a device could open up a number of opportunities in a variety of medical applications, such as measuring and then communicating EEG or ECG signals directly from the body of a patient to a remote device.
The prototype they have currently developed is about ten times smaller than a credit card (12 x 35mm) and about as thin as a compact disc (1-2mm). A flexible 25µm polyimide carrier contains a rechargeable battery and a wireless communication module that operates at 2.4GHz.
The current focus of their research efforts lies in adding the necessary sensors and power controller to the package and to optimise the operation of an on-board antenna so that it will work once the band-aid is affixed to the body.
Eventually, the researchers at IMEC say that they aim to bring the thickness of the device down to 100µm.
The new device follows on from earlier work at IMEC which led to the development of a miniature 1cm3-dimensional stacked system-in-a-cube (SiC), a device that was also used for wireless bioelectronic communications.