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Materials Feature: Silver/Silver Chloride Ink
Tessa Reder | Nov 17, 2023 | Materials science
What is silver/silver chloride ink?
Silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) is a conductive ink typically used to print electrodes for biomedical applications. It’s a non-toxic, environmentally friendly ink with stable electrochemical potential used to create disposable on-skin medical electrodes for biosensors, like "ECG, EEG and TENS electrodes; defibrillator pads; transdermal drug delivery; biomedical sensors and reference electrodes," according to Creative Materials.
- Silver-to-silver chloride ratios can be adjusted and blended to achieve different resistance values and sensitivity levels.
- The ink has a smooth surface finish with excellent adhesion and crease resistance when printed onto polyester and plastic substrates.
- Silver/silver chloride is compatible with screen printing and direct-ink-writing printing technology.
Smart health patches
Used in both healthcare and athletics applications, smart health patches deliver new capabilities in monitoring. These devices can continuously measure heart rate, brain activity, movement, and other body functions. Quad Industries’ Smart Health Patch, designed to optimize training for ultra-runners, is made using Henkel’s silver/silver chloride ink.
Silver/silver chloride ink is also used to print glucose sensors for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) patches like Freestyle Libre.
CGM patches are being widely adopted for diabetes management. Rather than pricking a finger several times a day to monitor glucose levels, the CGM continuously measures glucose in the blood and interfaces with a reader device or smartphone app. This allows patients to monitor glucose levels throughout the day and refine the timing for their insulin injections.
In recent years, CGMs also have become a tool for athletic performance. Endurance athletes use CGMs to monitor for dips in glucose during training, and then methodically dial in their fuel strategy and nutrition plan accordingly. The Supersapiens glucose monitoring system is being leveraged by athletes like Crossfit Games champion Samantha Briggs, olympic triathlon gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt, and endurance obstacle course world champion Ryan Atkins.
Silver/silver chloride ink can also be paired with TPU used to print stretchable interconnections for constructing medical sensor textiles and smart textile garments. Commercialization has been limited due to lack of cost-effective, standard fabrication processes that can be applied to a large variety of fabrics, but companies like Softmatter and Memtronik now offer customized smart-garment design and fabrication.
I want this ink. Where do I start?
Henkel Adhesive Technologies
If you work in the engineering world, you’re probably familiar with Loctite, a line of products by Henkel Adhesive Technologies. Loctite EDAG 7019 E&C is a silver/silver chloride conductive ink, formulated to provide excellent adhesion to the wide variety of substrates used in the manufacture of electrically conductive medical devices.
Read the datasheet here: LOCTITE EDAG 7019 E&C Technical Data Sheet
Henkel also sells a Loctite sensor demonstrator kit with twelve dry adhesive electrodes for medical research and technical material validation.
Henkel Adhesive Technologies have developed a wide portfolio of innovative solutions in adhesives, sealants, inks, and functional coatings.
Another option is Dupont 5874 silver/silver chloride, which is designed for screen printing on polyester, and is suitable for a wide variety of biomedical applications. Dupont is an industry leader in materials development, combining scientific and applications development expertise to accelerate innovation.
Read the datasheet here: Dupont 5874 silver/silver chloride composition for screen printing
Kayaku Advanced Materials
Kayaku Advanced Materials also offers a silver/silver chloride conductive ink, designed for screen printing medical EEG and EKG sensors. Kayaku develops and manufactures innovative specialty materials to push the latest innovation trends.
Read the datasheet here: AGCL-675 SILVER/SILVER CHLORIDE INK
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