Research team develops tattoo-like skin thermometer patch

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Posted September 17, 2013

A diverse team of researchers from the U.S., China, and Singapore has created a patch that when glued to the skin can be used as a thermometer—continuously measuring skin temperature. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the team describes how the patch is made and ways it can be used.

Research team develops tattoo-like skin thermometer patch
An ultrathin device for mapping changes in skin temperature to 0.02 C adheres to the skin surface without the use of glues or tapes. Credit: University of Illinois and Beckman Institute

The team was led by John Rogers of the University of Illinois—he has been working on ultra-thin electronic skin patches for several years. Just two years ago, he and his team developed a skin patch that sported sensors, radio frequency capacitors, LEDs, transistors, wireless antennas, conductive coils and even solar cells for power. Other researchers have also been hard at work developing patches for applying directly to the skin, or in one case, a tooth. In this latest effort the researchers have fine tuned a patch that resembles a tattoo once applied—it’s meant for one specific task—monitoring skin temperature.


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