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      A soft, wearable microfluidic device for the capture, storage, and colorimetric sensing of sweat

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P1">Capabilities in health monitoring via capture and quantitative chemical analysis of sweat could complement, or potentially obviate the need for, approaches based on sporadic assessment of blood samples. Established sweat monitoring technologies use simple fabric swatches and are limited to basic analysis in controlled laboratory or hospital settings. We present a collection of materials and device designs for soft, flexible and stretchable microfluidic systems, including embodiments that integrate wireless communication electronics, which can intimately and robustly bond to the surface of skin without chemical and mechanical irritation. This integration defines access points for a small set of sweat glands such that perspiration spontaneously initiates routing of sweat through a microfluidic network and set of reservoirs. Embedded chemical analyses respond in colorimetric fashion to markers such as chloride and hydronium ions, glucose and lactate. Wireless interfaces to digital image capture hardware serve as a means for quantitation. Human studies demonstrated the functionality of this microfluidic device during fitness cycling in a controlled environment and during long-distance bicycle racing in arid, outdoor conditions. The results include quantitative values for sweat rate, total sweat loss, pH and concentration of both chloride and lactate. </p>

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          An ultra-lightweight design for imperceptible plastic electronics.

          Electronic devices have advanced from their heavy, bulky origins to become smart, mobile appliances. Nevertheless, they remain rigid, which precludes their intimate integration into everyday life. Flexible, textile and stretchable electronics are emerging research areas and may yield mainstream technologies. Rollable and unbreakable backplanes with amorphous silicon field-effect transistors on steel substrates only 3 μm thick have been demonstrated. On polymer substrates, bending radii of 0.1 mm have been achieved in flexible electronic devices. Concurrently, the need for compliant electronics that can not only be flexed but also conform to three-dimensional shapes has emerged. Approaches include the transfer of ultrathin polyimide layers encapsulating silicon CMOS circuits onto pre-stretched elastomers, the use of conductive elastomers integrated with organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) on polyimide islands, and fabrication of OFETs and gold interconnects on elastic substrates to realize pressure, temperature and optical sensors. Here we present a platform that makes electronics both virtually unbreakable and imperceptible. Fabricated directly on ultrathin (1 μm) polymer foils, our electronic circuits are light (3 g m(-2)) and ultraflexible and conform to their ambient, dynamic environment. Organic transistors with an ultra-dense oxide gate dielectric a few nanometres thick formed at room temperature enable sophisticated large-area electronic foils with unprecedented mechanical and environmental stability: they withstand repeated bending to radii of 5 μm and less, can be crumpled like paper, accommodate stretching up to 230% on prestrained elastomers, and can be operated at high temperatures and in aqueous environments. Because manufacturing costs of organic electronics are potentially low, imperceptible electronic foils may be as common in the future as plastic wrap is today. Applications include matrix-addressed tactile sensor foils for health care and monitoring, thin-film heaters, temperature and infrared sensors, displays, and organic solar cells.
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            Solvent compatibility of poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based microfluidic devices.

            This paper describes the compatibility of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) with organic solvents; this compatibility is important in considering the potential of PDMS-based microfluidic devices in a number of applications, including that of microreactors for organic reactions. We considered three aspects of compatibility: the swelling of PDMS in a solvent, the partitioning of solutes between a solvent and PDMS, and the dissolution of PDMS oligomers in a solvent. Of these three parameters that determine the compatibility of PDMS with a solvent, the swelling of PDMS had the greatest influence. Experimental measurements of swelling were correlated with the solubility parameter, delta (cal(1/2) cm(-3/2)), which is based on the cohesive energy densities, c (cal/cm(3)), of the materials. Solvents that swelled PDMS the least included water, nitromethane, dimethyl sulfoxide, ethylene glycol, perfluorotributylamine, perfluorodecalin, acetonitrile, and propylene carbonate; solvents that swelled PDMS the most were diisopropylamine, triethylamine, pentane, and xylenes. Highly swelling solvents were useful for extracting contaminants from bulk PDMS and for changing the surface properties of PDMS. The feasibility of performing organic reactions in PDMS was demonstrated by performing a Diels-Alder reaction in a microchannel.
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              Simple telemedicine for developing regions: camera phones and paper-based microfluidic devices for real-time, off-site diagnosis.

              This article describes a prototype system for quantifying bioassays and for exchanging the results of the assays digitally with physicians located off-site. The system uses paper-based microfluidic devices for running multiple assays simultaneously, camera phones or portable scanners for digitizing the intensity of color associated with each colorimetric assay, and established communications infrastructure for transferring the digital information from the assay site to an off-site laboratory for analysis by a trained medical professional; the diagnosis then can be returned directly to the healthcare provider in the field. The microfluidic devices were fabricated in paper using photolithography and were functionalized with reagents for colorimetric assays. The results of the assays were quantified by comparing the intensities of the color developed in each assay with those of calibration curves. An example of this system quantified clinically relevant concentrations of glucose and protein in artificial urine. The combination of patterned paper, a portable method for obtaining digital images, and a method for exchanging results of the assays with off-site diagnosticians offers new opportunities for inexpensive monitoring of health, especially in situations that require physicians to travel to patients (e.g., in the developing world, in emergency management, and during field operations by the military) to obtain diagnostic information that might be obtained more effectively by less valuable personnel.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science Translational Medicine
                Science Translational Medicine
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                1946-6234
                1946-6242
                November 23 2016
                November 23 2016
                : 8
                : 366
                : 366ra165
                Article
                10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2593
                5429097
                27881826
                87562801-3c76-4da0-98d6-cc0e1dca5c89
                © 2016
                History

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