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Published September 30, 2020 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Wireless battery-free wearable sweat sensor powered by human motion


Wireless wearable sweat biosensors have gained huge traction due to their potential for noninvasive health monitoring. As high energy consumption is a crucial challenge in this field, efficient energy harvesting from human motion represents an attractive approach to sustainably power future wearables. Despite intensive research activities, most wearable energy harvesters suffer from complex fabrication procedures, poor robustness, and low power density, making them unsuitable for continuous biosensing. Here, we propose a highly robust, mass-producible, and battery-free wearable platform that efficiently extracts power from body motion through a flexible printed circuit board (FPCB)–based freestanding triboelectric nanogenerator (FTENG). The judiciously engineered FTENG displays a high power output of ~416 mW m⁻². Through seamless system integration and efficient power management, we demonstrate a battery-free triboelectrically driven system that is able to power multiplexed sweat biosensors and wirelessly transmit data to the user interfaces through Bluetooth during on-body human trials.

Additional Information

© 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). Submitted 25 April 2020; Accepted 14 August 2020; Published 30 September 2020. This work was supported by the California Institute of Technology Startup Grant and the Translational Research Institute through NASA NNX16AO69A. We gratefully acknowledge critical support and infrastructure provided for this work by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech. Author contributions: W.G., Y.S., and H.Z. initiated the project. W.G. supervised the studies. Y.S. and J.M. led the experiments and collected the overall data. J.M., Y.S., and Y.Yu contributed to the system development, fabrication, and characterization. J.M. performed the electronic circuit design and test. Y.S. and H.W. contributed to FTENG preparation and characterization. Y.S. and Y.Yu contributed to sensor preparation and characterization. W.G., Y.S., J.M., and Y.Yang contributed to data analysis and cowrote the paper. All authors provided feedback on the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data related to this paper may be requested from the authors.

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Published - eaay9842.full.pdf

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October 20, 2023