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The current design has a small coil and could be powered by induction -- by placing it near an electrical coil -- Rogers said. That would permit intermittent use, he said, and for longer-term monitoring, a tiny battery or storage capacitor could be used.
The monitor doesn't use an adhesive, relying on a weak force called the van der Waals force that causes molecules and surfaces to stick together without interfering with motion. The ability of geckos to climb smooth surfaces has been attributed to the van der Waals force. For longer-term use, the electronic skin could be coated with an adhesive.
Rogers and co-lead author Dae-Hyuong Kim, have been working on the technology for several years. They earlier worked together to develop flexible electronics for hemispherical camera sensors and other devices that have complex shapes.
Funding for the research came from the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, and a Defense Department National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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