Multifunctional wearable devices for diagnosis and therapy of movement disorders

Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 May;9(5):397-404. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.38. Epub 2014 Mar 30.


Wearable systems that monitor muscle activity, store data and deliver feedback therapy are the next frontier in personalized medicine and healthcare. However, technical challenges, such as the fabrication of high-performance, energy-efficient sensors and memory modules that are in intimate mechanical contact with soft tissues, in conjunction with controlled delivery of therapeutic agents, limit the wide-scale adoption of such systems. Here, we describe materials, mechanics and designs for multifunctional, wearable-on-the-skin systems that address these challenges via monolithic integration of nanomembranes fabricated with a top-down approach, nanoparticles assembled by bottom-up methods, and stretchable electronics on a tissue-like polymeric substrate. Representative examples of such systems include physiological sensors, non-volatile memory and drug-release actuators. Quantitative analyses of the electronics, mechanics, heat-transfer and drug-diffusion characteristics validate the operation of individual components, thereby enabling system-level multifunctionalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic* / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic* / methods
  • Movement Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Movement Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Movement Disorders* / therapy
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation
  • Nanotechnology / methods