3D printed "earable" smart devices for real-time detection of core body temperature

Hiroki Ota, Minghan Chao, Yuji Gao, Eric Wu, Li Chia Tai, Kevin Chen, Yasutomo Matsuoka, Kosuke Iwai, Hossain M. Fahad, Wei Gao, Hnin Yin Yin Nyein, Liwei Lin, Ali Javey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Real-time detection of basic physiological parameters such as blood pressure and heart rate is an important target in wearable smart devices for healthcare. Among these, the core body temperature is one of the most important basic medical indicators of fever, insomnia, fatigue, metabolic functionality, and depression. However, traditional wearable temperature sensors are based upon the measurement of skin temperature, which can vary dramatically from the true core body temperature. Here, we demonstrate a three-dimensional (3D) printed wearable "earable" smart device that is designed to be worn on the ear to track core body temperature from the tympanic membrane (i.e., ear drum) based on an infrared sensor. The device is fully integrated with data processing circuits and a wireless module for standalone functionality. Using this smart earable device, we demonstrate that the core body temperature can be accurately monitored regardless of the environment and activity of the user. In addition, a microphone and actuator are also integrated so that the device can also function as a bone conduction hearing aid. Using 3D printing as the fabrication method enables the device to be customized for the wearer for more personalized healthcare. This smart device provides an important advance in realizing personalized health care by enabling real-time monitoring of one of the most important medical parameters, core body temperature, employed in preliminary medical screening tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-997
Number of pages8
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number7
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2017


  • 3D printing
  • Bone conduction hearing aid
  • Core body temperature
  • Flexible electronics
  • Liquid metal
  • Wearable device


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