Nanotechnologists at Tel Aviv University have developed an electronic "tattoo" that monitors facial muscle movements, which they believe could have many applications in medicine, business and marketing.

The device consists of a carbon electrode, a sticky surface that attaches to the skin, and a polymer coating that uses nanotechnology to enhance the electrode's performance.

The data it gathers can be used to log emotions, by monitoring facial expressions through the electrical signals passing through the muscles of the face.

Early tests, the researchers say, show it can record a strong, steady signal for hours on end without irritating the skin.

"Researchers worldwide are trying to develop methods for mapping emotions by analyzing facial expressions, mostly via photos and smart software," said Yael Hanein, who developed the device and authored a paper describing it.

"But our skin electrode provides a more direct and convenient solution."

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