Patch to Measure Body Temperature

This is a flexible wiring patch with sensors that monitors the body temperature and even the mental condition.

Small changes in temperature can show how blood vessels expand and contract. This reflects the status of the cardiovascular system. Nowadays, infrared cameras (quite expensive devices that make the patient sit motionless) are the most advanced technology to measure body temperature. Besides, there are adhesive sensors. But they have a limited capacity and irritate the skin, which affects the accuracy of measuring.

The new device, created by John Rogers from the University of Illinois, is a flexible thermometer with a width of 50 microns (about half of a human hair). They are small and adjacent to the skin as a temporary tattoo. Their accuracy is equal to that of the infrared camera, which costs $250,000.

The sensors are made of gold wires or silicon membranes, which are located on a thin rubber sheet with perforations (for the skin to breathe). They measure the temperature with the accuracy of the thousandth part of a degree, assess blood flow and skin moisture. According to these parameters, signs of disease can be revealed, and it is possible to understand when a person is excited.

The sensors are also suitable for use as a hot-water bottle. Local heating will improve the delivery of drugs into the bloodstream, the absorption of the nutrients, needed, for example, to heal wounds. This poses no risk of infection. The prototype sensors transmit information through wires so far, but in the future there will be a wireless version.