Professor Nanshu Lu at The University of Texas is developing the next-generation of flexible/stretchable electronics, photonics and therapeutics. Pioneered by John Rogers at the University of Illionois, flexible skin “tattoos” measure vital signs and muscle movement, transmitting data wirelessly and harvesting solar energy. Future versions may play critical roles inside the body in watching for signs of disease or damage, or treating problems automatically.
Professor Lu has designed a bio-integrated electronic tattoo. The ultrathin, ultrasoft stamp-sized patch clings to the human skin without adhesive, which would interrupt electrical connectivity. Lu’s area of expertise — the interface of flexible electronics with biosystems — is one of three areas crucial to the future of bio-integrated electronics, the others being wireless data transmission and wireless power transmission.