The SINTEC project is based on the development of manufacturing technology for a ground-breaking novel large-area rigid-stretch PCB technology. The unique properties of this technology will be of advantage especially in systems that today need to have cables to external units or use flexible patches or belts/straps to fixate the sensor to the body. Two applications that will get good advantages are large array electrophysiological sensors and Fat-IBC modules, which will be developed in the project and demonstrated in applications in sports and healthcare.
SINTEC expected results will be:
1. Manufacturing large-area rigid-stretch PCB
2. Integrating Fat-IBC with electrophysiological sensors
In healthcare monitoring and in wearable sports applications, sensor nodes are placed on the human body which need to communicate between each other. Besides, many applications that require higher data rate communication such as cardiac vascular sensors, cardio defibrillators and neuroprosthetics devices now exist in the market. Due to the growth of sensors that require high data rate, the demand of high bandwidth has
increased. Generally, three different techniques have been used to propagate a signal on the human body: Galvanic coupling, capacitive coupling and RF links. Usually higher frequencies are not suitable for IBC due to the lossy nature of biological tissues. On the other hand, low frequencies cannot support high bandwidth.
For this reason, we have investigated the possibilities of using different human tissue channels to support low loss microwaves communication. Microwaves are attenuated by the human body due to the high dielectric losses of skin and muscle tissues. For this work, however, we propose the communication through the fat tissue, which offers lower losses for microwave propagation compared to other tissues. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of using fat tissue as a low loss microwave transmission channel for IBC and we have demonstrated successful communication scenario, where real data has been transferred through Fat-IBC.
3. Device demonstration in sports and healthcare
The novel SINTEC technology will greatly increase the usability of measuring methods, especially for reasons such as:
- being less disturbing for athlete compared to existing technology,
- enable better compliance and adhesion to the human body and can handle an intense elite sports body, a movement that results in large amounts of sweating,
- enable use in cold winter outdoor environment (-15 °C),
- from the user perspective, the newly developed technology will be equipped with an intuitive and easy-to-use user interface.