Wearable sensors for health
LEDs with high form factor
Organic materials are ideal candidates for use in medical sensors such as pulse oximetry and electronic bandages because they can be solution-processed allowing for facile deposition onto flexible substrates such as plastic and fiber.
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive medical sensing method for measuring pulse rate and arterial blood oxygenation. Conventional pulse oximeters are made up of an optoelectronic sensor composed of two inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with different peak emission wavelengths and a single inorganic photodiode (PD). Red LED is commonly used. Currently, the application of commercially available pulse oximeters is limited by the bulk, rigidity, and high large-area scaling cost of conventional inorganic-based optoelectronics. Organic LEDs (OLEDs) and organic PDs offer a better alternative due to features such as energy efficiency, flexibility, transparency, and large area emission. However, the manufacturing of commercial OLEDs heavily relies on vapor deposition, a high-energy, high equipment cost process. Moreover, some of the recent progress in solution-processed OLEDs have relied on organic layers processed from harmful chemical solvents that pose a lot of health hazards.
The low-cost, lightweight, and flexible substrates that feature LEDs will allow the production of new wearable pulse oximeters that would greatly reduce the financial pressure that burdens the healthcare industry. The core of the research at PrintedSUN Inc. will involve new materials synthesis and optimization of solution processing conditions required to produce the flexible LEDs.
Another application of PrintedSUN Inc. technology is in wound care. LED light therapy has been shown to promote wound healing by stimulating cellular activity (photobiomodulation) and increasing blood flow to the affected area. LED light can also help reduce inflammation, pain, and scarring.
PrintedSUN Inc. technology can also be used for other health and wellbeing applications, such as light therapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep disorders, and skin conditions. LEDs emit specific wavelengths of light that can affect the body's circadian rhythm and melatonin production, which can help regulate sleep patterns. LED light therapy can also be used to treat acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Overall, PrintedSUN Inc. technology has the potential to improve health monitoring and wellbeing in a variety of applications, from pulse oximeters to wound care and beyond. As research in this area continues, we may see even more innovative uses of LED light in healthcare.