Graphene is a wearable sensor in the form of a soother that tracks a baby’s vital signs. By tracking vitals like heart rate and breathing, Graphene could help prevent cot death.
How does it work?
The technology uses liquid-based sensors which contain an emulsion made from graphene, water, and oil, which conducts electricity.
The material is comprised of carbon atoms and is strong, flexible and conductive when a channel or tube holding the liquid is stretched. Furthermore, the conductivity of the liquid changes even when stretched a tiny amount.
Researchers at the University of Sussex said: “Using the conducting liquid emulsions we have developed, we will produce cheap, wearable sensors based on graphene.
“The devices will be comfortable, non-invasive and can provide intuitive diagnostics of breathing and heart rate.
“We will eventually have a suit that the baby can wear which will read out all vital information wirelessly.
“We hope to see this made available within two to four years.”
Comfortable and non-invasive
Due to the liquid technology being so sensitive, it picks up small signals when attached to the body. Currently, to monitor vitals, clunky sensors need to be attached to babies’ hands or feet, and often fall off.
We look forward to seeing this technology develop and the data that it can bring to this particular field of study.
In Ireland there has been a dramatic decrease in the incidence of the cot death or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the last decade. The average rate of 2.2/1000 live-births in the 1980s has decreased to 0.8/1000 live-births in the years 1993-1997. This equals a decrease of approximately 100 deaths a year.