Electronic Skin That Provides Temperature Map of Body
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University Of Illinois and The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBB) have created a sophisticated electronic skin that adheres non-invasively to human skin to provide a detailed temperature map of any surface of the body.
The sensor is derived from a novel approach known as epidermal electronics consisting of ultrathin flexible skin-like arrays which resemble a tattoo with a micro-circuit board. The arrays consist of a sensor and heating elements. These small devices adhere to the skin with special glue that can monitor heat flow, plus the constriction and dilation of blood vessels. In the current study, the arrays contained heat sensors so that it could be tested for its ability to accurately detect variations in localized skin temperature when compared to the ‘gold standard’ of testing which uses the infrared camera. A number of physical and mental stimulus tests were performed to compare the two. The tests proved that though the results were virtually similar in both the methods, the array system could be a rapid screening tool in case of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.
The array could be used to carry out vast extent of therapeutic or diagnostic functions. Apart from this, it can also be effective in delivering a particular nutrient or medication for wound healing. Further, it could also signal doctors about the effect of certain medicines on patients.