UC Berkeley engineers develop cheap, wearable all-organic pulse oximeter sensor


Wearable technology is the latest buzz in electronics market. Fitness trackers have almost surrendered to this trend, and why not? It’s more convenient and weighs or measure big enough to ask for extra consideration to carry with you.

UC Berkeley engineers have added a new invention to it. They have created a pulse oximeter sensor, which is composed of all-organic optoelectronics. It’s like a Band-Aid, more flexible compared to conventional rigid trackers. Also, the researchers claim that it’s cheaper, thus, affordable.

Ana Arias, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and head of the UC Berkeley team that is developing this new organic optoelectronic sensor, comments:

“We showed that if you take measurements with different wavelengths, it works, and if you use unconventional semiconductors, it works.Because organic electronics are flexible, they can easily conform to the body. Organic electronics are cheap enough that they are disposable like a Band-Aid after use”.

This jump from silicon to organic or carbon-based components has given it the flexibility and minimal design. This organic pulse oximeter uses red and green lights from deposited LEDs. Red and green light yield comparable differences to red and infrared to measure the levels of oxygen in the blood.

These green LEDs including the translucent light detectors were deposited onto a flexible piece of plastic using solution-based processing system. It detects the pattern of fresh arterial blood flow, thus, calculates the pulse.

Via: UC Berkeley