A 3D-printed wearable sensor for body temperature monitoring

Project Title: A 3D-printed wearable sensor for body temperature monitoring

Project Duration: May 21 – July 28 2018 (10 weeks), 40 hours per week.

Project Mentors:

  • Primary Faculty Mentor (Name, Affiliation, website and Email/Phone):

Zion Tsz Ho Tse, PhD, Associate Prof of Medical Devices, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, UGA

Email: ziontse@uga.edu                                            Tel: 706-542-4189

  • Secondary Faculty Mentor (Name, Affiliation, website and Email/Phone):

Johnathan Murrow, MD, ARMC Cardiology, Associate Prof of Medicine, GRU/UGA Medical Partnership

Email: jmurrow@uga.edu                                            Tel: 706-475-1700

  • Graduate Student/PostDoc mentors (Name, Affiliation and Email/Phone):

Rui Li, PhD Student, Medical Robotics Lab, College of Engineering, UGA

Email: rui.li@uga.edu                                                             Tel: 706-542-4189

Project Description:

Heatstroke is a serious condition causing by the body’s failed cooling mechanism due to prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This is a leading cause of death in sports for both players and fans. From 2001 to 2010, a recorded number of 28,000 people have experienced heat related hospitalizations in the United States. Most of these victims were older adults aged 65+, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases. Groups of people at a higher risk for heat stroke include people who work in outdoor environments such as construction sites (often males), and people who participate in summertime activities such as sports (often young children). Heat related illnesses can be easily prevented if people are aware of the current temperature in the local environment and taking precautions, such as hydrating the body and avoiding strenuous physical activities during hot weather. A practical solution is to transform the unseen rising temperature into a visible physical phenomenon for the people to take quick actions. Therefore, a delicate bracelet was 3-D printed from a new type of low-cost thermal sensitive resin that exhibits a physical phenomenon of gradual color change from clear to pink. This light-weighted device can be used with a smartphone application to alert and report the real-time temperature of the environment. This application incorporates a smartphone camera that captures an image of the thermal sensitive bracelet and returns the temperature reading. This is a low-cost and efficient product that captures the user’s attention of the commonly omitted rising heat levels in their surroundings to prevent heat strokes. This project aims to develop a functional system which can be able to use by the general public for heatstroke prevention.

REU Student Role and Responsibility:

Hypothesis: The Heat Guard system will detect the body temperature and alert the end-users the potential risk of heatstroke.

Student Activities: Over the course of the REU program, the student will help develop and optimize the design of the wearable thermal sensor. The student’s project includes testing the thermochromic material and develop smartphone application. Examples of fabrication process as well as the design outcome is shown in Figure 2. The student will gain experience in developing novel materials with chemistry knowledge, 3D design and printing as well as computational programming. Weekly meetings with mentors will aid in the guidance of the REU student.

Required skills or courses for the REU student:

The desired skills will be:

  1. Basic chemical engineering knowledge of mixing substances
  2. Previous experience in 3D design in a professional software such as AutoCAD and Solidworks

The desired courses will be:

  1. Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Expected Outcome for REU student:

The student’s work will contribute to the development of publications, aimed for submission as a conference paper in the Design of Medical Devices (DMD) conference. Upon completion of the entire project, a comprehensive paper on the device will be submitted for journal publication. The device may also be in consideration for commercialization pending experimental outcomes.