When it comes to grafting electronics onto skin, John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign churns out epidermic tech at a seemingly fevered pitch. Perhaps his latest creation will make sure he doesn’t overheat.
Along with a team of researchers from the U.S., China, and Singapore, Rogers has designed an extremely pliable patch that, when applied to the skin, can accurately measure skin temperature and can provide “clinically relevant information about cardiovascular health, cognitive state, malignancy and many other important aspects of human physiology.”
The small, ultra-thin mesh electronics adhere to the skin with a special glue and are no bigger or more intrusive than a temporary tattoo. The device can also monitor heat flow, plus the constriction and dilation of blood vessels.
“Such devices can also be implemented in ways that reveal the time-dynamic influence of blood flow and perfusion on these properties,” researches explained.
As well, the patches can be used in reverse by delivering therapeutic heat to the skin, simply by increasing the patch’s voltage.
However, the patch isn’t ready for the market just yet, as it still requires an external power source. But the team is exploring two potential energy sources as solutions: solar power, for external patches, and bioelectric power for patches applied internally.
Credit: University of Illinois and Beckman Institute