Taking temperature with a temporary tattoo


John Rogers of the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign has featured several times in this magazine for his work on flexible electronics and sensors, and his team have just published their latest advance - creating a flexible wearable thermometer. While the device might not replace the thermometers in our medicine cabinets at home, it could be very useful in a clinical setting where precise measurements are needed to monitor blood flow. The team also suggest that as the thermometers could be used for continual monitoring because they are so easy to wear.

The thin sensors can sit on the skin and map the local changes in temperature without being affected by the stretching and movement that our skin constantly undergoes, and in tests the group say their device matches the precise measurement of infrared cameras. The devices are put on the skin by using a PVA film as a water soluble transfer like temporary tattoos, and are made of arrays of gold wires and sensors that measure either resistance or voltage, both of which change with as the temperature. Or, suggest the group in their paper, you could change the voltage and heat the skin, opening up a whole new range of therapeutic ideas.


Related Content

Temporary tattoo to give you the sporting edge

27 March 2012 News and Analysis

news image

This Saturday, Nascar racer Paulie Harraka will be using a device based on John Rogers work at the University of Illinois Urb...

tattoo to give you the sporting edge

27 March 2012 News Archive

news image

Nascar racer Paulie Harraka's hydration has been monitored using an epidermal electronic device

Most Read

Complex amines made easy (and cheap)

22 May 2015 Research

news image

Iron-catalysed cross-coupling brings together nitroarenes and olefins in a single step in boon for drug makers

Opiate-producing yeast raises spectre of 'home-brewed heroin'

18 May 2015 News and Analysis

news image

Warnings that completion of final steps in opiate biosynthesis could be a double-edged sword

Most Commented

The nuclear danger of iodine

20 May 2015 Comments

news image

It may not be an element you think of as problematic. But, as Mark Foreman explains, iodine causes very complicated problems ...

All set for chemistry

15 May 2015 Feature

news image

Chemistry sets through the years have both weathered and reflected many changes in science and society, as Philip Ball discov...