Sensor Made With 'Chewing Gum' Is Stretchable And Wearable

First Posted: Dec 02, 2015 04:42 PM EST

Scientists have created new sensor that is made with chewing gum and is stretchable and wearable, according to a study.  

Most sensors are made out of metal, which means that they stop working when they are pulled or twirled too much. These researchers created the new sensor using chewing gum and carbon nanotubes, which enables the device to be as flexible as you are. The makeup of the sensor allows the device to move freely with bendable parts and it keeps track of your breathing.

Sensors are very sensitive and they can detect some of the smallest movements. However, they require a lot more when they have to monitor stretching and bending of the body. Some researchers have tried creating plastic and silicone sensors to accomplish more detection. This allowed for flexibility but lost sensitivity.  

The team of researchers used a material that is in their pockets and sometimes in their mouths.

One of the researchers chewed a piece of gum for 30 minutes, washed it with ethanol, then placed it aside overnight. A solution of carbon nanotubes (sensing material) was then added. The researchers then pulled and folded the coaxed tubes so that it is neatly aligned. Human bending and turning tests revealed that the material can continue working with high sensitivity even when strained at 530 percent.

The sensor was capable of detecting humidity, which is a feature that can be used to track breathing.  

The findings of this study were published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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