Dielectric elastomer sensor; Human machine interface; Smart medical device; Compliant metal/elastomer nanostructures; Nanometer-thin polymer films; Digitalized patient doctor interaction
Osmani Bekim, Töpper Tino, Müller Bert (2018), Conducting and stretchable nanometer-thin gold/thiol-functionalized polydimethylsiloxane films, in Journal of Nanophotonics
, 12(03), 1-1.
Töpper Tino, Osmani Bekim, Müller Bert (2018), Polydimethylsiloxane films engineered for smart nanostructures, in Microelectronic Engineering
, 194, 1-7.
Osmani Bekim, Töpper Tino, Müller Bert (2018), Highly compliant nanometer-thin Au electrodes exploiting the binding to thiol-functionalized polydimethylsiloxane films, in Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX
, Denver, United StatesSPIE, Washington, U.S..
Dielectric elastomer transducers (DET) exhibit a strain-stress behavior comparable to human tissues. During my PhD thesis I have demonstrated DE actuators based on elastomer layers several hundred nanometers thin generating 6 % strain applying voltages as low as 12 V. However, to build artificial muscles thousands of nanostructures have to be stacked realizing the force comparable to natural muscles. Therefore, this Bridge-application will focus on the sensing capability of DETs. Currently available force and pressure sensors for medical applications fail to mimic the skin’s natural capabilities of force detecting due to rigidity and lack of biomimetic elastic properties. Geometrical restrictions limit their adaption to the given medical device. Moreover, the interplay of the electronic properties often lead either to low sensitivity, restricted response time or high power consumption. Robust and flexible sensors based on dielectric elastomer transducers (DETs) are operated at voltages below 1 V and offer the possibility for static/dynamic pressure sensing. Fabricated on soft polymer substrates they can be directly attached to the skin or implant surface for real-time monitoring with millisecond time response of diverse human physiological signals and body motions for wearable healthcare and patient rehabilitation. The capacitive sensor is based on multi-layered elastomer and metal films. Our unique thin-film technology reliably enables the fabrication of sub-micrometer thin elastomer and electrode films. When external pressures are applied, the induced deformation of the dielectric layer causes a change of capacitance. Sensitivities above 10 kPa-1 are adjusted to the physiological pressures of interest (Pa to MPa) by multilayered specifically tailored nanostructures. The high resting capacitance of hundreds of pF/cm2 enables simplified micro-electronics. Combined with the overall thickness below 100µm our dielectric elastomer sensors (DES) implies no geometrical restrictions to medical devices/implants. It’s low energy consumption below 1 nW combined with self-healing capabilities will enable long-term stable sensing solutions. In addition, sensor pads with spatial resolution of one sensor per mm2 can be cut individually by the customer or even surgeons adapted to the required individual shape of the patients implant.