Bionic sensors for non-invasive health monitoring

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemistry


Wearable electronics like smart watches are popular gadgets, their value as biosensor is limited however as they are not directly interfaced with the skin. While body temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen content and important factors to evaluate the overall health of an individual, these parameters lack the information contained in biological metabolites excreted through sweat. The presence or fluctuation in concentration of many metabolites can be directly related to a medical condition. High glucose levels could be indicative of diabetes, whilst the presence of lactate would indicate fatigue and high cortisol, a steroid hormone, levels often pointing towards increased stress levels.

This fellowship extension will focus on the integration of flexible and self-repairing organic semiconductors into skin-wearable biosensors for non-invasive health monitoring. The wearable sensors will be fully conformal, similar to a standard band aid, and robust enough to be worn directly on the skin. By carefully functionalising the active material, the organic semiconductor, we aim to achieve a high selectivity and sensitivity, able to record the minute changes of biological metabolites excreted through sweat on the skin.

The realisation of such light weight and robust wearable sensors directly applied to the human skin, would make the continous monitoring of relevant biological metabolites a reality, opening new avenues for more cost-effective preventive healthcare and patient-centred care.


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