A Wearable Paper-Based Dermal Platform for Monitoring Perspiration

Vaibhav Jain, Purdue University


Consumer scale wearable devices have the potential to shift the healthcare paradigm from curative to preventive by allowing unobtrusive monitoring of important physiological parameters. Towards such a goal, this work presents a flexible and conformal, paper-based dermal platform (patch), for real time in-situ perspiration monitoring and quantification to aid in maintenance of hydration balance. Depending on the bio-metrics of the user and desired application, the wicking based platform having a spiral design with spokes/fingers of increasing length emanating from a central sweat collection region, can be customized in size and shape to sequentially trigger feedback (passive chemical color change on the tip or actively lit LED or provide haptic or audio feedback) for providing discretized chronological sweat loss information to the user. A design methodology has been developed to make patches tunable to a wide range of specific sweat rates, duration of usage, resolution, and size required in practice. As proof of concept demonstration, we have characterized patches that cover about (5cm X 5 cm) area of skin using various flow rates simulating different heavy sweating intensities in the range of 1.526-15.26 mg/(cm 2*min) and various wicking material compositions, thicknesses (180– 540 µm), and porosities (3 – 11 µm). Experimental results for a case of a half marathon runner targeting 90 minutes of usage and sweating at a rate of 1.526 mg/(cm 2*min) indicated accuracy of the designwithin 1.7 %. A working prototype of a LED based add-on capacitive electronic module of size 3.5 cm X 3.5 cm X 0.5 cm was also developed and demonstrated to work in conjunction with the paper platform, providing unobtrusive active feedback to the user. The disposable nature of the primary device along with reusability of the active electronic module presented herein allows large scale, low cost fabrication and consumption required for athletic or healthcare markets while opening avenues for higher performance by making it an IOT based device.




Savran, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Electrical engineering|Mechanical engineering

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