Continuous monitoring of human physiological signals is critical to managing personal healthcare by early detection of health disorders. Wearable and implantable devices are attracting growing attention as they show great potential for real-time recording of physiological conditions and body motions. Conventional piezoelectric sensors have the advantage of potentially being self-powered, but have limitations due to their intrinsic lack of stretchability. Herein, a kirigami approach to realize a novel stretchable strain sensor is introduced through a network of cut patterns in a piezoelectric thin film, exploiting the anisotropic and local bending that the patterns induce. The resulting pattern simultaneously enhances the electrical performance of the film and its stretchability while retaining the mechanical integrity of the underlying materials. The power output is enhanced from the mechano-electric piezoelectric sensing effect by introducing an intersegment, through-plane, electrode pattern. By additionally integrating wireless electronics, this sensing network could work in an entirely battery-free mode. The kirigami stretchable piezoelectric sensor is demonstrated in cardiac monitoring and wearable body tracking applications. The integrated soft, stretchable, and biocompatible sensor demonstrates excellent in vitro and ex vivo performances and provides insights for the potential use in myriad biomedical and wearable health monitoring applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900100
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number5
Early online date24 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2019

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS
  • Tactile Action Perception


  • kirigami
  • metamaterials
  • near-filed communication
  • piezoelectric sensors


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