A flexible microfluidic system is being developed in John Rogers’ Lab at Northwestern University. Rogers, previously at University of Illinois – Champaign, is the leading pioneer in flexible electronics.

The device under development uses wireless electronics, color sensors and silicone with microfluidic channels etched in. In the form of a flat patch, it attaches to the skin and analyzes sweat, monitoring for things such as electrolyte loss and lactate levels. Data is communicated from the device wirelessly.

Many uses are envisioned for these types of devices, which are being referred to as “The Lab on the Skin”. It’s hypothesized that the technology could even go inside the body, attaching to the heart or the brain or to other organs.