Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:43 and 3:43 a.m.

Body Mod




McAlpine group, University of Minnesota

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Smart watches are SOOOOOO 2017….!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Today’s smartwatches can track everything from your heart rate to your breathing.  But Michael McAlpine at the University of Minnesota thinks we can do better.  He and his colleagues want to print electronics directly onto our skin! 

They created a conductive ink by mixing water and alcohol with flakes of silver.  The ink is applied directly to skin using a portable three-D printer.  Think of a bakers piping bag that squeezes out WIRES, instead of frosting!  

McAlpine applied the silver wires and an L-E-D light directly to a volunteer’s hand.  With the push of a button, electricity traveled through the wires and —voila! The light came on! But there’s no need to remain a human lightbulb forever. Removal is as simple as a pair of tweezers.

This technology could be used to design sweat sensors that monitor exercise or stress. Or to print teeny, tiny wires onto insects, creating CYBORGS that monitor the environment!

Or even… maybe the world’s first human Christmas tree? Project Runway, here I come!