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Special Issue "Skin Sensors"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Benoît Piro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chemistry Department, University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, ITODYS, UMR 7086 CNRS 15 rue J-A de Baïf, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France
Interests: bioelectrochemistry; biosensors; bioelectronics; transistor; nanomaterials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Skin sensors includes non-wearable or wearable sensors able to measure a pertinent parameter of the skin (e.g. moisture, sebum). Such measure can find many applications in the cosmetic industry, for example for personalized skin counselling that helps customers to choose appropriate skin care products. It may also include all other wearable, highly conformable thin-film sensors that are put directly onto the skin to monitor other body parameters (temperature, heartbeat, sweat composition, even alcohol intake…), e.g. tattoo sensors, connected patches, dressings or even hosiery and socks, which may find applications in the most common everyday life or meet the high technical expectations associated with healthcare.

For producing wearable sensors, thin, highly conformable and hypoallergenic materials must be developed as substrates; the active materials, including sensors and electronics, may be also conformable, preferably organic. It is seen as a great advantage if these high added-value devices can be produced on large area using low-cost techniques such as printing (e.g. roll-to-toll, screen-printing, inkjet printing).

Research in large area electronics produced by printing techniques is developing fast; in parallel, expectations from the healthcare and cosmetic industry are growing. This motivates a special issue dedicated to skin sensors, which is open to original research articles, tutorials or comprehensive reviews.

I am expecting your participation.

Prof. Dr. Benoît Piro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • wearable sensors
  • body parameters
  • printing technologies
  • cosmetics
  • point-of-care

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Non-Invasive Forehead Segmentation in Thermographic Imaging
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4096; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194096 - 22 Sep 2019
Abstract
The temperature of the forehead is known to be highly correlated with the internal body temperature. This area is widely used in thermal comfort systems, lie-detection systems, etc. However, there is a lack of tools to achieve the segmentation of the forehead using [...] Read more.
The temperature of the forehead is known to be highly correlated with the internal body temperature. This area is widely used in thermal comfort systems, lie-detection systems, etc. However, there is a lack of tools to achieve the segmentation of the forehead using thermographic images and non-intrusive methods. In fact, this is usually segmented manually. This work proposes a simple and novel method to segment the forehead region and to extract the average temperature from this area solving this lack of non-user interaction tools. Our method is invariant to the position of the face, and other different morphologies even with the presence of external objects. The results provide an accuracy of 90% compared to the manual segmentation using the coefficient of Jaccard as a metric of similitude. Moreover, due to the simplicity of the proposed method, it can work with real-time constraints at 83 frames per second in embedded systems with low computational resources. Finally, a new dataset of thermal face images is presented, which includes some features which are difficult to find in other sets, such as glasses, beards, moustaches, breathing masks, and different neck rotations and flexions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Portable Skin Analyzers with Simultaneous Measurements of Transepidermal Water Loss, Skin Conductance and Skin Hardness
Sensors 2019, 19(18), 3857; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19183857 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
Simultaneous measurement of skin physiological and physical properties are important for the diagnosis of skin diseases and monitoring of human performance, since it provides more comprehensive understanding on the skin conditions. Current skin analysis devices, however, require each of probes and unique protocols [...] Read more.
Simultaneous measurement of skin physiological and physical properties are important for the diagnosis of skin diseases and monitoring of human performance, since it provides more comprehensive understanding on the skin conditions. Current skin analysis devices, however, require each of probes and unique protocols for the measurement of individual skin properties, resulting in inconvenience and increase of measurement uncertainty. This paper presents a pen-type skin analyzing device capable tomeasure three key skin properties at the same time: transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin conductance, and skin hardness. It uses a single truncated hollow cone (THC) probe integrated with a humidity sensor, paired electrodes, and a load cell for the multimodal assessment of the skin properties. The present device measured TEWL with a sensitivity of 0.0068 (%/s)/(g/m2/h) and a linearity of 99.63%, conductance with a sensitivity of 1.02 µS/µS and a linearity of 99.36%, and hardness with a sensitivity of 0.98 Shore 00/Shore 00 and a linearity of 99.85%, within the appropriate ranges for the human skin. The present pen-type device has a high potential for the skin health diagnosis as well as the human performance monitoring applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Photoacoustic/Ultrasound/Optical Coherence Tomography Evaluation of Melanoma Lesion and Healthy Skin in a Swine Model
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2815; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19122815 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The marked increase in the incidence of melanoma coupled with the rapid drop in the survival rate after metastasis has promoted the investigation into improved diagnostic methods for melanoma. High-frequency ultrasound (US), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and photoacoustic imaging (PAI) are three potential [...] Read more.
The marked increase in the incidence of melanoma coupled with the rapid drop in the survival rate after metastasis has promoted the investigation into improved diagnostic methods for melanoma. High-frequency ultrasound (US), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and photoacoustic imaging (PAI) are three potential modalities that can assist a dermatologist by providing extra information beyond dermoscopic features. In this study, we imaged a swine model with spontaneous melanoma using these modalities and compared the images with images of nearby healthy skin. Histology images were used for validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Disposable Potentiometric Sensory System for Skin Antioxidant Activity Evaluation
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2586; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112586 - 06 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The skin is a natural barrier between the external and internal environment. Its protective functions and the relationship of its state with the state of health of the organism as a whole are very important. It is known that oxidant stress (OS) is [...] Read more.
The skin is a natural barrier between the external and internal environment. Its protective functions and the relationship of its state with the state of health of the organism as a whole are very important. It is known that oxidant stress (OS) is a common indicator of health status. This paper describes a new sensory system for monitoring OS of the skin using antioxidant activity (AOA) as its criteria. The contact hybrid potentiometric method (CHPM) and new electrochemical measuring scheme were used. A new sensory system, including disposable modified screen-printed carbon and silver electrodes covered by membrane impregnated by mediator, was developed. Its informative ability was demonstrated in the evaluation of the impact of fasting, consumption of food and food enriched by vitamins (antioxidants) on skin AOA. This device consisting of a sensory system and potentiometric analyzer can be used in on-site and in situ formats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasoft, Adhesive and Millimeter Scale Epidermis Electronic Sensor for Real-Time Enduringly Monitoring Skin Strain
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2442; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112442 - 29 May 2019
Abstract
Epidermal electronic sensors (EESs) possess great advantages in the real-time and enduring monitoring of human vital information compared to the traditional medical device for intimately making contact with human skin. Skin strain is a significant and effective routine to monitor motion, heart rate, [...] Read more.
Epidermal electronic sensors (EESs) possess great advantages in the real-time and enduring monitoring of human vital information compared to the traditional medical device for intimately making contact with human skin. Skin strain is a significant and effective routine to monitor motion, heart rate, wrist pulse, and skin growth in wound healing. In this paper, a novel skin sensor combined with a ternary conductive nanocomposite (Carbon black (CB)/Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5)/Silbione) and a two-stage serpentine connector is designed and fabricated to monitor skin strain. The ultrasoft (~2 kPa) and adhesive properties of the ternary conductive nanocomposite ensure the capacity of the EES to intimately couple with human skin in order to improve accuracy with a relative error of 3.39% at strain 50% as well as a large strain range (0~50%) and gauge factor (GF ~2.5). The millimeter scale EES (~5 mm × 1 mm × 100 μm), based on the micro-nano fabrication technique, consisted of a two-stage serpentine connector and screen print of the ternary conductive nanocomposite. EESs with high comprehensive performance (electrical and mechanical properties) are fabricated to confirm the analytical results and monitor the motion of a human hand. The good agreement between experimental and analytical results paves the way for bettering monitoring of skin growth during wound healing in order to avoid necrosis and scarring. This EES in monitoring the motion of a human exhibit presents a promising application for assisting prosthetic movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Effect of UVB Irradiation and Oxidative Stress on the Skin Barrier—A New Method to Evaluate Sun Protection Factor Based on Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy
Sensors 2019, 19(10), 2376; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19102376 - 23 May 2019
Abstract
Sunlight is vital for several biochemical processes of the skin organ. However, acute or chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has several harmful effects on the skin structure and function, especially in the case of the failing function of antioxidative enzymes, which may [...] Read more.
Sunlight is vital for several biochemical processes of the skin organ. However, acute or chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has several harmful effects on the skin structure and function, especially in the case of the failing function of antioxidative enzymes, which may lead to substantial tissue damage due to the increased presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The aim of this work was to investigate the combined effect of ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation and oxidative stress on the skin barrier integrity. For this, we employed electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to characterize changes of the electrical properties of excised pig skin membranes after various exposure conditions of UVB irradiation, oxidative stress, and the inhibition of antioxidative enzymatic processes. The oxidative stress was regulated by adding hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a source of ROS, while sodium azide (NaN3) was used as an inhibitor of the antioxidative enzyme catalase, which is naturally present throughout the epidermis. By screening for the combined effect of UVB and oxidative stress on the skin membrane electrical properties, we developed a new protocol for evaluating these parameters in a simple in vitro setup. Strikingly, the results show that exposure to extreme UVB irradiation does not affect the skin membrane resistance, implying that the skin barrier remains macroscopically intact. Likewise, exposure to only oxidative stress conditions, without UVB irradiation, does not affect the skin membrane resistance. In contrast to these observations, the combination of UVB irradiation and oxidative stress conditions results in a drastic decrease of the skin membrane resistance, indicating that the integrity of the skin barrier is compromised. Further, the skin membrane effective capacitance remained more or less unaffected by UVB exposure, irrespective of simultaneous exposure of oxidative stress. The EIS results were concluded to be associated with clear signs of macroscopic tissue damage of the epidermis as visualized with microscopy after exposure to UVB irradiation under oxidative stress conditions. Finally, the novel methodology was tested by performing an assessment of cosmetic sunscreen formulations with varying sun protection factor (SPF), with an overall successful outcome, showing good correlation between SPF value and protection capacity in terms of skin resistance change. The results from this study allow for the development of new skin sensors based on EIS for the detection of skin tissue damage from exposure to UVB irradiation and oxidative stress and provide a new, more comprehensive methodology, taking into account both the influence of UVB irradiation and oxidative stress, for in vitro determination of SPF in cosmetic formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in Skin Chemical Sensors
Sensors 2019, 19(20), 4376; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19204376 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
This review summarizes the latest developments in the field of skin chemical sensors, in particular wearable ones. Five major applications are covered in the present work: (i) sweat analysis, (ii) skin hydration, (iii) skin wounds, (iv) perspiration of volatile organic compounds, and (v) [...] Read more.
This review summarizes the latest developments in the field of skin chemical sensors, in particular wearable ones. Five major applications are covered in the present work: (i) sweat analysis, (ii) skin hydration, (iii) skin wounds, (iv) perspiration of volatile organic compounds, and (v) general skin conditions. For each application, the detection of the most relevant analytes is described in terms of transduction principles and sensor performances. Special attention is paid to the biological fluid collection and storage and devices are also analyzed in terms of reusability and lifetime. This review highlights the existing gaps between current performances and those needed to promote effective commercialization of sensors; future developments are also proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Sensors)
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