The medical R&D team at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (CBN-IIT) saw the potential for advancing research into wearable, self-powered sensing mechanisms.
Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices represent one of the most important class of MEMS due to their low cost, low power needs, and rapid manufacture.
By integrating piezoelectric thin film with multi-material metal-and-dielectric 3D printing, the sensors could be flexible and suitable for testing opto-electro-mechanical performance and biochemical sensing.
The team decided on a meander antenna design built at a thickness of 40 μm to achieve optimal electrical conductibility of the silver nanoparticle-based ink.
The results show the potential advantages of 3D printing on PEN substrate.
The technique paves the way for the integration between flexible body-friendly antennas and a flexible SAW for wearable sensing for the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT).
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