Eloise Bihar1 Timothee Roberts2 Jozina De Graaf2 Mohamed Saadaoui3 Esma Ismailova3 George Malliaras4 Khaled Salama1 Sahika Inal1

1, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, , Saudi Arabia
2, Aix Marseille Universite, Marseille, , France
3, Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne, Gardanne, , France
4, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, , United Kingdom

Driven by the ever-growing needs for developing portable, easy-to-use, noninvasive diagnostic tools, biomedical sensors that can be integrated on textiles or even directly on human skin have come to fruition. Wearable sensor technologies that seamlessly interface electronics with human skin can be especially promising for detecting a wealth of biologically relevant signals ranging from neuro-muscular activity, to electrophysiology, even to metabolite profiles.

In this work, we present a simple and low cost platform fabricated on a tattoo paper used for on-skin electromyography (EMG) measurements. The electrodes comprising the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) are directly inkjet-printed on the tattoo paper. Addressing the integration challenge common for stretchable electronic devices, we connect the tattoo electrodes to the acquisition system through a textile in the form of a wristband comprising of printed PEDOT:PSS contacts. While the textile wristband conforms around the “tattooed” skin, it enables a reliable contact with the electrodes beneath due to its conformability around the limb. We show that this tattoo/textile electronics system, which does not rely on gels or expensive metallic materials, is able to detect the biceps activity of the arm during muscle contraction for a period of seven hours, with comparable performance to conventional wet biopotential electrodes. Combining the tattoo electronics with the electronic textile allows for facile integration of skin-like electrodes with external electronics.