Researchers in AMBER, the materials science research center located in Trinity College Dublin and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, have used graphene-enhanced "silly putty" (polysilicone) to create extremely sensitive sensors. This fascinating research offers exciting possibilities for applications in new, inexpensive devices and diagnostics in medicine and other sectors.
The researchers discovered that the electrical resistance of putty infused with graphene (G-putty) was extremely sensitive to the slightest deformation or impact. They mounted the G-putty onto the chest and neck of human subjects and used it to measure breathing, pulse and even blood pressure. It showed unprecedented sensitivity as a sensor for strain and pressure, being hundreds of times more sensitive than normal sensors. The G-putty also works as a very sensitive impact sensor, able to detect the footsteps of small spiders. The scientists believe that this material will find applications in a range of medical devices.