Recent advances in materials, mechanics and design have led to the development of ultrathin, lightweight electronic devices that can conformally interface with human skin. With few exceptions, these devices rely on electrical power to support sensing, wireless communication and signal conditioning. Unfortunately, most sources of such power consist of batteries constructed using hazardous materials, often with form factors that frustrate incorporation into skin-like, or epidermal, electronic devices. Here we report a biocompatible, sweat-activated battery technology that can be embedded within a soft, microfluidic platform. The battery can be used in a detachable electronic module that contains wireless communication and power management systems, and is capable of continuous on-skin recording of physiological signals. To illustrate the practical utility of our approach, we show using human trials that the sweat-activated batteries can operate hybrid microfluidic/microelectronic systems that simultaneously monitor heart rate, sweat chloride and sweat pH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering