Researchers in Japan report a breakthrough in the design ofskin sensors that significantlyextends the life of devices that monitor oxygen blood levels.

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As reported in Medical News Today, the University of Tokyoscientists developed an “e-skin” that is stable in the air and thusdoes not deteriorate within hours of use as do current sensors.

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Five layers of an inorganic material comprise the protectivefilm around the sensor, protecting its electronic components fromair and water vapor.

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The device is worn on a finger and displays the blood oxygenlevel via a polymer light-emitting diode system. Thescientists said their e-skin represents a major step forward,overcoming the limitations of the previous devices, which were madefrom glass or plastic.

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The process opens the way for more ultra-thin and ultra-flexiblewearable monitoring devices, the research team said, ones that canbe used for several days.

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"Ultimately, flexible organic optical sensors may be directlylaminated on organs to monitor the blood oxygen level during andafter surgery,” the team posited.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.