Biostamp temporary tattoo
electronic circuits by MC10


Materials scientist John Rogers and his firm MC10 have developed flexible electronic circuits that stick directly to the skin like temporary tattoos and monitor the wearer's health.

The Biostamp is a thin electronic mesh that stretches with the skin and monitors temperature, hydration and strain.

Rogers suggests that his "epidermal electronics" could be developed for use in healthcare to monitor patients without tethering them to large machines. Not only would this be more convenient, but the results could be more accurate if patients were examined in their normal environment doing usual activities rather than on the hospital ward.

Other applications could include a patch that lets an athlete know when and how much to hydrate for peak performance, or one that tells you when to apply more suncream.

Biostamp temporary tattoo electronic circuits by MC10

MC10 overcame the rigidity of normal electronic components made from brittle silicon-based wafers by printing them in very small pieces, arranged in wavy patterns.

Earlier versions were applied on an elastomer backing patch, but the latest prototype is applied directly to the skin using a rubber stamp. It can be covered with spray-on bandage available from pharmacies to make it more durable and waterproof enough to withstand sweating or washing with soapy water. It lasts up to two weeks before the skin's natural exfoliation causes it to come away.

The team are now working on the integration of wireless power sources and communication systems to relay the information gathered to a smartphone.

Other wearable monitoring technology we've reported on includes the Nike+ FuelBand and Jawbone UP wristbands that monotor health and fitness, plus a wearable camera that uses sensors and GPS technology to decide which moments of your life are worth photographing.

See all our stories about wearable technology »

  • V Hamilton

    Isn’t it amazing what they can do in the medical field, and then again, what they can’t do. They can create these trackers but can’t cure cancer.

  • Edd

    I totally agree Hamilton, if they spent half as much money as they spend in sports or gadgets and put that into cancer research, it'd be done in less than a year!

  • Guest

    There ARE cures for Cancer, but the FDA and their friends in big pharma, don’t want them. They would lose too much money. The American Cancer Society? What a joke. It would be funny if it weren’t so true.

    The US sucks in trying to help their people. All they want to do is disarm them, and use drones against them. What a sad commentary.

  • John

    It’s really amazing that a temporary tattoo can be an electronic chip level circuit. I was surprised to see the this. Thanks for sharing.