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Sci Transl Med. 2018 Dec 5;10(470). pii: eaau1643. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau1643.

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

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
2
Department of Electronics Convergence Engineering, Kwangwoon University, Seoul 01897, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Bioscience Research Laboratories, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
4
Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
5
Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
6
Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
7
L'Oréal Tech Incubator California Research Center, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.
8
L'Oréal Tech Incubator, Clark, NJ 07066, USA.
9
Electronic and Imaging Materials Research Laboratories, Toray Industries Inc., Otsu, Shiga 520- 0842, Japan.
10
Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
11
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
12
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
13
Department of Physics, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Republic of Korea.
14
Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
15
Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. stevexu@northwestern.edu jrogers@northwestern.edu.
16
Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Civil and Environmental Engineering, Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
17
Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Civil and Environmental Engineering, Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA. stevexu@northwestern.edu jrogers@northwestern.edu.

Abstract

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.

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