Tokyo, November 10, AZERTAC
Japanese researchers have developed a micro-thin thermal sensor that can be attached directly to the skin, potentially useful in monitoring the health of infants or even making sportswear more comfortable.
The group said the device, embedded in an ultra-fine film, can measure target temperatures between 25degC and 50degC, a range that includes that of the human body.
The finding, made in collaboration with the University of Texas, was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America this week.
Professor Takao Someya, who heads a research team at the University of Tokyo working on such flexible devices, said the electronic circuit composed of graphite and a semi-crystalline acrylate polymer is just 15 micrometers in thickness, or about one fourth that of a human hair.
He said the sensors can be printed onto adhesive plasters that can used to monitor body temperature.
He added the materials are cheap and widely used in manufacturing and envisions the device could be commercialized for practical use in as soon as three years.