The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2.6 million grant to the University of Missouri College of Engineering to help develop a material in support of the development of a wearable heart monitor. The monitor will track human heart health via an electrocardiogram and a seismocardiogram, according to an MU news release. The electrocardiogram measures the electrical signal of the heart and the seismocardiogram measures its vibrations.

“In this project we want to dramatically improve the long-term biocompatibility and also long-lasting accuracy of the heart monitor through the fundamental material innovation,” according to Zheng Yan, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering as well as the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Yan told Missourinet that the information helps spot possible warning signs related to heart disease.

“Simply speaking, we want to make a multifunctional porous material,” Yan added. “This material will be long-term biocompatible, also antibacterial, highly breathable, and also waterproof. They can stay on the human body for a very long term without an induced issue like inflammation, itching, discomfort.”

Looking to the future, Yan already has preliminary results to confirm the idea works, but he wants more time to fully develop the device so it can be made commercially available to the general public. He admits that he’d like to have something already developed, but states that more time and money needs to be put into the project so it can be fully developed.

Click here for more information.