Thin, Millimeter Scale Fingernail Sensors for Thermal Characterization of Nail Bed Tissue

Yajing Li, Yinji Ma, Chen Wei, Haiwen Luan, Shuai Xu, Mengdi Han, Hangbo Zhao, Cunman Liang, Quansan Yang, Yiyuan Yang, Kaitlyn E. Crawford, Xue Feng, Yonggang Huang*, John A. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Thin, flexible, body-worn technologies that allow precise, quantitative monitoring of physiological status are of broad current interest due to their potential to improve the cost and effectiveness of healthcare. Although the surface of the skin represents one of the most widely explored points of integration, recently developed millimeter scale wireless sensor platforms allow deployment on alternative surfaces of the body, such as the finger/toenails and the teeth. The work described here introduces a collection of ideas in materials science, device engineering and computational techniques that enables precise characterization of the thermal transport characteristics of the nail bed tissue from measurements on the surface of the nail. Systematic in vitro studies demonstrate the underlying measurement principles, the theoretical models for optimized sensor design and the associated experimental procedures for determining the thermal conductivity of the tissue. Measurements performed on human subjects highlight capabilities in tracking changes in perfusion of the nail bed tissues in response to various external stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1801380
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 25 2018


  • fingernail devices
  • flexible electronics
  • noninvasive biomedical applications
  • perfusion tracking
  • thermal sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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