Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Our researchers are working on the next-generation of wearable sensors for human performance monitoring. Commercial products, such as activity trackers and other smart watches, focus primarily on sensing movement and heartrate and have limited sensing modalities and durability, limiting their use in many challenging warfighter operational environments. The ability to sense physiological changes in a pilot’s stress or fatigue levels through sweat or electrolytes on the surface of skin, for example, can potentially eliminate harmful situations before they have a chance to occur in flight. Our next-generation wearable patches use novel AFRL-developed sensor materials and microfluidic technology, to measure sodium and potassium levels present in sweat and transmit this information wirelessly for scientific analysis. These patches will augment research on hydration with the goal of improving human performance in heat or high-stress conditions.