Shin-Etsu Chemical develops innovative new materials for wearable devices

Contributing to the realization of a society in which people will lead healthier and longer lives


Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Tokyo; President: Yasuhiko Saitoh) has developed innovative electrophysiological dry electrodes and high-elasticity wiring materials, which will be used to contribute to the achievement of superior performance characteristics for next-generation wearable devices. These wearable devices enable remote measurement and transmission of a person’s electrical bio signals, including such vital signs as heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) waveform, while a person is wearing the device on their body. They serve to help people improve their health and fitness conditions and will help bring about earlier diagnosis and management of chronic diseases.
By using these newly developed Shin-Etsu materials, a wearable device’s function, fit and ease-of-use is dramatically improved. This makes it possible to offer a higher quality of life to users who wear the devices.

As the awareness of the need for better health management and the necessity for home medical treatments are rising, the opportunities to measure a person’s electrical bio signals by means of these advanced wearable devices are increasing. Particularly, in the case of the use of smart “health patches,” because people wear them directly on their skin for more than 24 hours while the device is obtaining bio signal data, a degree of stress is created because it can become uncomfortable for the wearer. Moreover, when the measurement period takes a long time, perhaps extending to one week, it is possible that the process of obtaining of the bio signal data could become unstable. In order to resolve these issues, Shin-Etsu Chemical has newly developed the following innovative materials:

1) Electrophysiological Dry Electrodes
We developed the materials for electrophysiological dry electrodes to get bio signal data for a wearable device.
The electrode based on silicone is superior in biocompatibility, and its characteristics are as follows:

(A) Better Wearing Feel:
Shin-Etsu’s silicone material adapts itself to the skin and makes it very unlikely for the skin to become irritated, and at the same time, by making the thickness about as thin as a human hair, it becomes soft and flexible to the extent that you do not feel that you are wearing the device.

(B) Signal acquiring performance:
By optimizing the silicone’s adhesiveness, the electrophysiological dry electrodes will allow the device to track and follow the movement of the wearer and realize the acquiring of stable electrocardiogram signals.

(C) Water repellent property:
Because of the silicone’s original water repellent property, while wearing the device, taking a bath is made possible, which was not possible when using an existing gel-type electrode.

The health patch developed by Holst Centre Co. (in the Netherlands) that uses the electrophysiological dry electrodes possesses these characteristics that make possible the acquiring of stable bio signal data, even when a person is continuously wearing the device extending for a week.

2) High-Stretchable Wiring Material
This is a material for wiring to transmit the acquired bio signal data to the signal processing device. For the wiring of the health patch, stretchability that follows the movement of the wearer is required. Even after repeated stretchability testing, it maintained conductivity, and this is the most appropriate health patch material that has the needed strength to endure long hours of wearing.

The health patch using these Shin-Etsu materials was introduced by Holst Centre Co., at the MEDICA Connected Healthcare Forum), the innovation and networking forum for the healthcare industry which was held from November 14-17, in Düsseldorf, Germany.

By offering materials that contribute to the advancement of wearable devices, Shin-Etsu Chemical is working together with its customers to reduce the anxiety level of people who are dealing with health concerns and to make medical care more efficient, and we will endeavor to contribute to the realization of a society where people can enjoy healthier and longer lives.

Shin-Etsu Chemical’s newly developed innovative materials are being used for this wearable “health patch.”
(The black-colored parts are the electrophysiological dry electrodes and the gold-colored lines connecting them are the high-stretchable wiring.)

For inquiries about this matter, please contact

    • Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd.
    • Public Relations Dept.
    • Tetsuya Koishikawa
    • Tel: 03-6812-2340, or from outside Japan: 81-3-6812-2340
    • Fax: 03-6812-2341, or from outside Japan: 81-3-6812-2341
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