Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has become one of the biggest challenges for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan—shockwaves caused by IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades can cause serious damage that is at times nearly impossible to diagnose. DARPA hopes to change that with a disposable strip being developed by the Palo Alto Research Centre, its circuits printed via inkjet and laced with sensors which will monitor a soldier's often undetected exposure to damaging shockwaves.
Much like radiation badges, the disposable strips (which should cost around $US1 each) are changed on a regular basis, their data downloaded to the soldier's medical record. The circuitry—sensors and all—will be printed using PARC's frankly amazing inkjet tech, which creates the entire system with a mix of nano particles, organic semiconductors and other printable materials. This fabrication process, which can also be used for RFID chips, solar panels and flexible displays, is what keeps the costs down. [Technology Review]