Quality of sleep easily quantifiable by applying cool gel sheet to the forehead

Quality of sleep easily quantifiable by applying cool gel sheet to the forehead

Real-time monitoring of brain waves over the internet to become a reality

Aug 17, 2016

The Center of Innovation (COI) at Osaka University conducts research on brain functions and the causal relationship between the mind and the brain in industry-university collaboration in fields of study such as medicine, brain science, science, and engineering. They are carrying out research and development for a brain management system in order to develop methods for activating the brain according to the a person's condition at different times based on information obtained from research and provide these methods to society.

The Sekiya Laboratory at The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University has taken the initiative in a project involving researchers in the fields of medicine, brain science, science, and engineering, developing a patch-type brain wave sensor that can easily be attached just like applying a cool soft gel sheet to the forehead.

In order to assess what state the brain is in, it’s very important to measure brain waves; however, conventional measurement devices of brain waves required putting wired electrodes on the entire head of a subject and applying conductive gel on the scalp. Putting such a device on the head for a long time was difficult to bear, so it was very difficult to measure brain waves, especially in children.

In a joint research project led by Professor TANIIKE Masako at the United Graduate School of Child Development, Osaka University and Lecturer KATO Takashi at the Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka University, it was confirmed that it was possible to perform wireless measurement of brain waves during sleep simply by letting a subject sleep applying a palm-sized patch-type brain sensor on his/her forehead, obtaining measurements with accuracy comparable to large medical equipment. Specifically, slow brain waves of 2Hz or lower, which are observed during deep sleep, were detected, showing the effectiveness of this sensor in its ability to provide measurements with less burden on the subject.

With this sensor, it is possible to easily measure not only brain waves during sleep but also daily brain activity like using an electronic thermometer, all at home. In addition to the possibility of the measurement of quality of sleep, it is hoped that measurements of temperature on a daily basis will lead to early detection of brain-related disorders, including dementia.

This COI program aims to use these research results for solving social issues as well. As an example of brain management methods, this program aims for the realization of a system to examine the state of individuals based on their brain waves measured at home and allowing individuals to fully display their potential abilities by activating the brain according to each individual’s state.

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