Sweat-powered metabolic sensors wrap around the skin

May 04, 2020 //By Julien Happich
metabolic sensors
Researchers from CalTech have designed a thin flexible set of metabolic sensors that are powered by sweat when wrapped around the wearer’s skin.

The flexible and fully perspiration-powered integrated electronic skin (PPES), as the authors describe it in a paper titled “Biofuel-powered soft electronic skin with multiplexed and wireless sensing for human-machine interfaces", harvests energy from human sweat through lactate biofuel cells (BFCs). The battery-free e-skin performs continuous monitoring of key metabolic biomarkers including glucose, urea, NH4+, and pH, before transmitting them wirelessly to a user interface via Bluetooth low energy. The device is built on an ultrasoft polymeric substrate which complies with the skin’s modulus of elasticity. Hence it can be laminated conformally on different body parts for accurate biosensing.


Schematic of a battery-free, biofuel-powered e-skin that efficiently harvests energy from the human body, performs multiplexed biosensing, and wirelessly transmits data to a mobile user interface through Bluetooth.


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