To make their sensor, the researchers used gum that had been chewed for 30 minutes, washed with ethanol, and then let sit overnight. A solution of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) was then added as a sensing material, and the CNTs aligned by repeated stretching and folding to create a sensitive strain gauge.
Previous stretchable sensors that have been created using plastics and silicones have not been able to provide the sensitivity of more conventional less flexible devices. But, according to the researchers, in tests with human finger bending and head turning, the gum sensor was able to keep working with high sensitivity even when strained 530%.
In addition, the sensor can detect humidity changes, which say the scientists could be used to track breathing. For more, see the paper in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces: "Gum Sensor: A Stretchable, Wearable, and Foldable Sensor Based on Carbon Nanotube/Chewing Gum Membrane."
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