Under a grant provided by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (ARFL), the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for developing technology to monitor human performance in high-stress military or civilian situations. The RFP will focus on designing a lightweight, low-cost, conformal, and wearable patch. That patch will contain a biosensor device, which will measure chemicals, called biomarkers, in the wearer’s sweat. The flexible patch will house the sensor as well as a microfluidic system (which will deliver the sweat to the sensor), printed and hybrid control electronics, interconnects, and a power supply. Just as aircraft have sensors that take various measurements for safety and monitoring, the NBMC hopes that the RFP will develop a similar platform for individuals like pilots, special operations personnel, and firefighters. The goal is to monitor their stress, fatigue, vigilance, and even organ damage.

The NBMC includes Fortune 500 technology companies like General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and DuPont Teijin Films as well as entrepreneurial organizations like PARC (a Xerox company), MC 10, Soligie, American Semiconductor, Brewer Science, and UES. Other members include the Air Force Research Laboratory and a number of universities: Cornell University, University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California San Diego (spell this out because you’re spelling out all the others), University of Cincinnati, Binghamton University, Northeastern University NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nano-manufacturing, and Arizona State University.