Wireless, battery-free, flexible, miniaturized dosimeters monitor exposure to solar radiation and to light for phototherapy

Seung Yun Heo, Jeonghyun Kim, Philipp Gutruf, Anthony Banks, Pinghung Wei, Rafal Pielak, Guive Balooch, Yunzhou Shi, Hitoshi Araki, Derrick Rollo, Carey Gaede, Manish Patel, Jean Won Kwak, Amnahir E. Peña-Alcántara, Kyu Tae Lee, Yeojeong Yun, June K. Robinson, Shuai Xu*, John A. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Exposure to electromagnetic radiation can have a profound impact on human health. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes skin cancer. Blue light affects the body's circadian melatonin rhythm. At the same time, electromagnetic radiation in controlled quantities has beneficial use. UV light treats various inflammatory skin conditions, and blue light phototherapy is the standard of care for neonatal jaundice. Although quantitative measurements of exposure in these contexts are important, current systems have limited applicability outside of laboratories because of an unfavorable set of factors in bulk, weight, cost, and accuracy. We present optical metrology approaches, optoelectronic designs, and wireless modes of operation that serve as the basis for miniature, low-cost, and battery-free devices for precise dosimetry at multiple wavelengths. These platforms use a system on a chip with near-field communication functionality, a radio frequency antenna, photodiodes, supercapacitors, and a transistor to exploit a continuous accumulation mechanism for measurement. Experimental and computational studies of the individual components, the collective systems, and the performance parameters highlight the operating principles and design considerations. Evaluations on human participants monitored solar UV exposure during outdoor activities, captured instantaneous and cumulative exposure during blue light phototherapy in neonatal intensive care units, and tracked light illumination for seasonal affective disorder phototherapy. Versatile applications of this dosimetry platform provide means for consumers and medical providers to modulate light exposure across the electromagnetic spectrum in a way that can both reduce risks in the context of excessive exposure and optimize benefits in the context of phototherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberaah3924
JournalScience translational medicine
Issue number470
StatePublished - Dec 5 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Wireless, battery-free, flexible, miniaturized dosimeters monitor exposure to solar radiation and to light for phototherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this