‘Physically flexible’ electronics developed at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) are proving ideal for monitoring marine wildlife.

The team behind the Marine Skin smart patch, which has been successfully tested on a crab, want to use it to track the behaviour of dolphins and sharks for up to a year; to gather vital data on the health of marine ecosystems.

© 2018 KAUST

“We are consistently advancing the field of flexible and stretchable electronics by making electronic systems in which every component is physically flexible,” explained Professor Muhammad Mustafa Hussain.

The slick silicone design of the Marine Skin is better than many of the current devices used in this field, which can be uncomfortable.

“Using simple design tricks and soft materials, we were able to beat the current standard systems in terms of noninvasiveness, weight, operational lifetime and speed of operation,” added Joanna Nassar, currently at California Institute of Technology, but previously a Ph.D. student in the KAUST team that pioneered the patch.