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Nanotech 'tattoo' Can Map Emotions and Monitor Muscle Activity


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The tattoo.

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a temporary "electronic tattoo" that can measure the activity of muscle and nerve cells.

Credit: American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers have developed a temporary "electronic tattoo" that can measure the activity of muscle and nerve cells.

The tattoo is composed of a carbon electrode, an adhesive surface that attaches to the skin, and a nanotechnology-based conductive polymer coating that enhances the electrode's performance.

TAU professor Yael Hanein says the device may improve the therapeutic restoration of damaged nerves and tissues, and could lead to new insights about human emotion.

Hanein says the new electrode can map emotions by monitoring facial expressions via electric signals received from the facial muscles. "Our tattoo permits patients to carry on with their daily routines, while the electrode monitors their muscle and nerve activity," she says.

In addition, the tattoo can be used to monitor the muscle activity of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

"The physiological data measured in specific muscles may be used in the future to indicate the alertness of drivers on the road; patients in rehabilitation following stroke or brain injury may utilize the 'tattoo' to improve muscle control; and amputees may employ it to move artificial limbs with remaining muscles," Hanein says.

From American Friends of Tel Aviv University
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