A self-powered skin-patch electrochromic biosensor

Sara Santiago-Malagón, Diego Río-Colín, Haniyeh Azizkhani, Miguel Aller-Pellitero, Gonzalo Guirado, F. Javier del Campo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


One of the limitations of many skin-patch wearable sensors today is their dependence on silicon-based electronics, increasing their complexity and unit cost. Self-powered sensors, in combination with electrochromic materials, allow simplifying the construction of these devices, leading to powerful analytical tools that remove the need for external detection systems. This work describes the construction, by screen-printing, of a self-powered electrochromic device that can be adapted for the determination of metabolites in sweat by the naked eye in the form of a 3 × 15 mm colour bar. The device comprises a lactate oxidase and osmium-polymer –based anode connected to a coplanar 3 × 15 mm Prussian Blue, PB, cathode printed over a transparent poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate, PEDOT:PSS electrode. An ion-gel composed of Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene), PVDF-co-HFP, a gelling agent, and ionic liquid 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate, EMIM-Tf, effectively separates the cathode display from the biosensing anode, protecting it from the sample. Despite its cathodic electrochromism, the PEDOT:PSS has a transmission above 90% and does not mask the Prussian Blue colour change because the cathode does not operate below 0 V vs Ag/AgCl at any time. The sensor displays lactate concentrations in the range of 0–10 mM over the length of the electrochromic display, which has a contrast ratio of 1.43. Although full response takes up to 24 min, 85% of the colour change is displayed within 10 min.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112879
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Biosensors
  • Electrochromism
  • Lactate biosensor
  • Self-powered devices
  • Sweat sensing
  • Wearables


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