NBMC seeks human performance monitor patch system

July 17, 2013 at 4:13 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., July 17 (UPI) -- The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium, made up of defense-related companies and universities, has issued a Request for Proposals for development of human performance monitors.

The monitors would be for use by military and civilians in high-stress jobs and situations, such as pilots, first-responders and special operations personnel.

Specifically, the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium is interested in component development and integration for a lightweight, low-cost, conformal and wearable patch that will be a bio-sensor device to measure chemicals, called biomarkers, in human sweat.

"These biomarkers can provide early warnings of performance issues such as stress, fatigue, vigilance or organ damage," the consortium said. "The platform will contain the sensor, a microfluidic system that delivers sweat to the sensor, printed and hybrid control electronics, interconnects, a power supply, wireless communication, and software -- all on a flexible substrate that is comfortable to wear."

The consortium is organized by FlexTech Alliance on behalf of the U .S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

Members include General Electric, Lockheed Martin, DuPont Teijin Films, PARC (a Xerox Company), Cornell University, University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, UC San Diego, University of Cincinnati, Binghamton University and Northeastern University, among others.

"An aircraft has numerous sensors which take over 1,500 measurements per second to monitor its condition in flight, whereas the most critical part -- the pilot -- has no monitors," Malcolm Thompson, chief executive officer of NBMC said. "We are working quickly and efficiently to coordinate the expertise being generated at an array of companies, government labs and academic centers. NBMC's goal is to establish this technology chain to more rapidly develop products and manufacturing approaches for the Air Force and commercial markets."

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