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An autonomous wearable biosensor powered by a perovskite solar cell


Wearable sweat sensors can potentially be used to continuously and non-invasively monitor physicochemical biomarkers that contain information related to disease diagnostics and fitness tracking. However, the development of such autonomous sensors faces a number of challenges including achieving steady sweat extraction for continuous and prolonged monitoring and addressing the high power demands of multifunctional and complex analysis. Here we report an autonomous wearable biosensor that is powered by a perovskite solar cell and can provide continuous and non-invasive metabolic monitoring. The device uses a flexible quasi-two-dimensional perovskite solar cell module that provides ample power under outdoor and indoor illumination conditions (power conversion efficiency exceeding 31% under indoor light illumination). We show that the wearable device can continuously collect multimodal physicochemical data—glucose, pH, sodium ion, sweat rate and skin temperature—across indoor and outdoor physical activities for over 12 h.

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Fig. 1: Schematic and images of the ambient-light-powered battery-free lab on the skin.
Fig. 2: Design and characterization of the FPSC.
Fig. 3: System design and characterization of the wearable device for energy harvesting and autonomous multimodal biosensing.
Fig. 4: On-body evaluation of the wearable device for prolonged and cross-activity perspiration analysis.

Data availability

All the raw and analysed datasets generated during the study are available from the corresponding authors on request. Source data are provided with this paper.


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This project was supported by the National Institutes of Health grants R01HL155815 and R21DK13266, Office of Naval Research grants N00014-21-1-2483 and N00014-21-1-2845, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health through NASA NNX16AO69A, National Science Foundation grant 2145802 (to W.G.) and the European Research Council Starting Grant ‘GEL-SYS’ under grant agreement no. 757931 (to M.K.). S.D. would like to acknowledge the Marshall Plan Foundation that provided financial support for the three months of research visit to California Institute of Technology that initiated this work.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



W.G., J.M., M.K. and S.D. initiated the concept and designed the studies. J.M. and S.D. led the experiments and collected the overall data. J.R.S., Y.S., B.H., C.X., Y.Y. and S.S. contributed to the wearable device characterization, validation and sample analysis. B.H., C.P., L.L., M.S. and S.S. contributed to the solar module development, fabrication and characterization. S.D., B.H., J.F.S. and C.S. contributed to the experimental design and characterization of Pb leakage test for the solar cell module. E.S.S. contributed to the cell viability and metabolic activity characterization. J.M., S.D., W.G. and M.K. co-wrote the paper. All authors contributed to the data analysis and provided feedback on the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Martin Kaltenbrunner or Wei Gao.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peer review information

Nature Electronics thanks Roozbeh Ghaffari, Norbert Radacsi and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Notes 1–3, Figs. 1–35, Tables 1–5 and references 1–15.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary Video 1

Demonstration of the wearable sensor mobile application.

Supplementary Video 2

Light-powered iontophoresis-based prolonged microfluidic sweat sampling and sweat rate monitoring at rest.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 4

Source data for human studies (Fig. 4).

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Min, J., Demchyshyn, S., Sempionatto, J.R. et al. An autonomous wearable biosensor powered by a perovskite solar cell. Nat Electron 6, 630–641 (2023).

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