Collaborative research project involving skin-like EMG sensors used for monitoring swallowing and chewing study led by Kent and VCU

Collaborative research led by Dr Jim Ang, Senior Lecturer in Multimedia/Digital Systems and Ben Nicholls, PhD candidate in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, together with Professor W Jong Yeo, Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Massey Cancer Center, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, has recently been completed using skin-like sensors to monitor swallowing and chewing.

Electrophysiology research has drawn a great deal of attention to advancing human-computer interaction (HCI), in addition to its main contributions in health monitoring.

Through this collaborative study between the University of Kent and Virginina Commonwealth University, research has taken place regarding a class of technology for low profile, soft, and stretchable electronics (‘skin-like electronics’), which provides comfortable, conformal integration to the human skin for recording of physiological signals. Without the use of conductive gels and adhesives, ultrathin elastomeric membranes provided sufficient adhesion force to mount electrodes on the skin purely via van der Waals interactions; same force that geckos use to stick to walls.

The research explores the viability of the skin-like electronics for unobtrusive, continuous recording of surface electromyograms (EMG). Currently, the study is interested in exploring how skin-like EMG sensors can be used for monitoring swallowing and chewing, measuring deglutition (action of swallowing) behaviour to demonstrate game-based, user-controlled feedback.

The work has also been accepted for publication in Nature Scientific Reports.

More details about the project can be located here.