Soft, stretchable, epidermal sensor with integrated electronics and photochemistry for measuring personal UV exposures

Yunzhou Shi, Megan Manco, Dominique Moyal, Gil Huppert, Hitoshi Araki, Anthony Banks, Hemant Joshi, Richard McKenzie, Alex Seewald, Guy Griffin, Ellora Sen-Gupta, Donald Wright, Philippe Bastien, Florent Valceschini, Sophie Seité, John A. Wright, Roozbeh Ghaffari, John Rogers, Guive Balooch, Rafal M. Pielak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation induces acute and chronic effects on the skin, eye and immune system. Personalized monitoring of UV radiation is thus paramount to measure the extent of personal sun exposure, which could vary with environment, lifestyle, and sunscreen use. Here, we demonstrate an ultralow modulus, stretchable, skin-mounted UV patch that measures personal UV doses. The patch contains functional layers of ultrathin stretchable electronics and a photosensitive patterned dye that reacts to UV radiation. Color changes in the photosensitive dyes correspond to UV radiation intensity and are analyzed with a smartphone camera. A software application has feature recognition, lighting condition correction, and quantification algorithms that detect and quantify changes in color. These color changes are then correlated with corresponding shifts in UV dose, and compared to existing UV dose risk levels. The soft mechanics of the UV patch allow for multi-day wear in the presence of sunscreen and water. Two evaluation studies serve to demonstrate the utility of the UV patch during daily activities with and without sunscreen application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0190233
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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