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August 24, 2016

E-skin that keeps sticking and is easily removed

Covestro, a spinout of pharmaceutical company Bayer, has developed an e-skin product that uses custom polyurethane materials. Accoring to Covestro its e-skin will stick to human skin for long periods of time but can still be easily removed.

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Covestro is a manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials for key industries. The company will present the e-health product at the K 2016 plastics trade show, taking place from October 19-26 in Dusseldorf.

No stickiness or painful removal

Over the last years, several universities and research labs have attempted to build e-skin products that can last for weeks and send data back to a connected smartphone. One such recent attempt was undertaken by the University of Tokyo.

Website Readwrite quotes Covestro comparing its e-skin product with that of competitors, arguing that its own material sticks to skin for extensive periods, but can easily be removed without causing marks or pains. This combination would be an improvement, since most current e-skin product either lack stickiness or are painful to remove.

E-skin useful in wearables market

Covestro believes the e-skin material is useful in the wearables market, letting developers track different parts of the body, says Gerd Büschel, a films expert at Covestro. “Consumers want wearables that cling gently to the skin, and that are also breathable and hypoallergenic. We’re meeting this need with a combination of different materials. The patch is affixed to the wearer by means of a skin-friendly, breathable adhesive, which also is solvent-free and water-repellent.”

While Covestro’s new material doesn’t bring anything new to the connectivity aspect, it might make a mass market e-skin product more feasible. But o far, the company hasn’t provided much information on the capabilities for manufacturers that want to add connectivity modules, like Bluetooth, or sensors to measure and track body functions such as heart-rate, respiratory rate or blood pressure. 

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