Soft and Stretchable Sensor Using Biocompatible Electrodes and Liquid for Medical Applications.
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This article introduces a soft and stretchable sensor composed of silicone rubber integrating a conductive liquid-filled channel with a biocompatible sodium chloride (NaCl) solution and novel stretchable gold sputtered electrodes to facilitate the biocompatibility of the sensor. By stretching the sensor, the cross section of the channel deforms, thus leading to a change in electrical resistance. The functionalities of the sensor have been validated experimentally: changes in electrical resistance are measured as a function of the applied strain. The experimentally measured values match theoretical predictions, showing relatively low hysteresis. A preliminary assessment on the proposed sensor prototype shows good results with a maximum tested strain of 64%. The design optimization of the saline solution, the electrodes, and the algebraic approximations derived for integrating the sensors in a flexible manipulator for surgery has been discussed. The contribution of this article is the introduction of the biocompatible and stretchable gold sputtered electrodes integrated with the NaCl-filled channel rubber as a fully biocompatible solution for measuring deformations in soft and stretchable medical instruments.