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Technical Brief

Sensitivity of On-Skin Thermometry to Detecting Dermal Dehydration

[+] Author and Article Information
Edward Sun

Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA
elsun2@illinois.edu

Jun Ma

Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA
junma5@illinois.edu

Srinivasa M. Salapaka

Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA
salapaka@illinois.edu

Sanjiv Sinha

Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA; Micro & Nanotechnology Lab, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA
sanjiv@illinois.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041555 History: Received January 27, 2018; Revised August 30, 2018

Abstract

The recent development of flexible sensors that can measure temperatures at the surface of the skin opens novel possibilities for continuous health monitoring. Here, we investigate such sensors as 3-omega thermometers to non-invasively detect deep dermal dehydration. Using numerical simulations, we calculate the temperature rise at the sensor at heating frequencies from 10 mHz to 10 Hz at varying levels of dehydration. The heating power in each case is limited to avoid burn injury. Our results indicate that 10-100 mHz frequencies are necessary to detect deep dermal dehydration. We show that the root mean square difference in temperature rise between normal and dermally dehydrated skin can be as high as 250 mK, which is detectable using lock-in techniques. Thermal contact resistance between the sensor and skin can dominate the signal when the resistance exceeds ~10^-3 Km^2/W. This work provides quantitative limits for sensing human dehydration using non-invasive sensors that measure the thermal conductivity of the skin structure.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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