Accurate measurement and monitoring of respiration is vital in patients affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus – 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Patients with severe chronic diseases and pneumonia need continuous respiration monitoring and oxygenation support. Existing respiratory sensing techniques require direct contact with the human body along with expensive and heavy Holter monitors for continuous real-time monitoring. In this work, we propose a low-cost, non-invasive and reliable paper-based wearable screen printed sensor for human respiration monitoring as an effective alternative of existing sensing systems. The proposed sensor was fabricated using traditional screen printing of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite based interdigitated electrodes on paper substrate. The paper substrate was used as humidity sensing material of the sensor. The hygroscopic nature of paper during inhalation and exhalation causes a change in dielectric constant, which in turn changes the capacitance of the sensor. The composite interdigitated electrode configuration exhibited better response times with a rise time of 1.178s being recorded during exhalation and fall time of 0.88s during inhalation periods. The respiration rate of sensor was successfully examined under various breathing conditions such as normal breathing, deep breathing, workout, oral breathing, nasal breathing, fast breathing and slow breathing by employing it in a wearable mask, a mandatory wearable product during the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.Thus, the above proposed sensor may hold tremendous potential in wearable/flexible healthcare technology with good sensitivity, stability, biodegradability and flexibility at this time of need. IEEE
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