Responsive materials and mechanisms as thermal safety systems for skin-interfaced electronic devices

Seonggwang Yoo, Tianyu Yang, Minsu Park, Hyoyoung Jeong, Young Joong Lee, Donghwi Cho, Joohee Kim, Sung Soo Kwak, Jaeho Shin, Yoonseok Park, Yue Wang, Nenad Miljkovic, William P. King*, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Soft, wireless physiological sensors that gently adhere to the skin are capable of continuous clinical-grade health monitoring in hospital and/or home settings, of particular value to critically ill infants and other vulnerable patients, but they present risks for injury upon thermal failure. This paper introduces an active materials approach that automatically minimizes such risks, to complement traditional schemes that rely on integrated sensors and electronic control circuits. The strategy exploits thin, flexible bladders that contain small volumes of liquid with boiling points a few degrees above body temperature. When the heat exceeds the safe range, vaporization rapidly forms highly effective, thermally insulating structures and delaminates the device from the skin, thereby eliminating any danger to the skin. Experimental and computational thermomechanical studies and demonstrations in a skin-interfaced mechano-acoustic sensor illustrate the effectiveness of this simple thermal safety system and suggest its applicability to nearly any class of skin-integrated device technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1024
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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