Biodegradable, three-dimensional colorimetric fliers for environmental monitoring

Hong Joon Yoon, Geumbee Lee, Jin Tae Kim, Jae Young Yoo, Haiwen Luan, Shyuan Cheng, Soohyeon Kang, Huong Le Thien Huynh, Hyeonsu Kim, Jaehong Park, Joohee Kim, Sung Soo Kwak, Hanjun Ryu, Jihye Kim, Yeon Sik Choi, Hak Young Ahn, Junhwan Choi, Seyong Oh, Yei Hwan Jung, Minsu ParkWubin Bai, Yonggang Huang, Leonardo P. Chamorro*, Yoonseok Park*, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recently reported winged microelectronic systems offer passive flight mechanisms as a dispersal strategy for purposes in environmental monitoring, population surveillance, pathogen tracking, and other applications. Initial studies indicate potential for technologies of this type, but advances in structural and responsive materials and in aerodynamically optimized geometries are necessary to improve the functionality and expand the modes of operation. Here, we introduce environmentally degradable materials as the basis of 3D fliers that allow remote, colorimetric assessments of multiple environmental parameters—pH, heavy metal concentrations, and ultraviolet exposure, along with humidity levels and temperature. Experimental and theoretical investigations of the aerodynamics of these systems reveal design considerations that include not only the geometries of the structures but also their mass distributions across a range of bioinspired designs. Preliminary field studies that rely on drones for deployment and for remote colorimetric analysis by machine learning interpretation of digital images illustrate scenarios for practical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereade3201
JournalScience Advances
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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