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Imagine sticking a patch made of flexible electronics on your skin that could read your body temperature, monitor your blood circulation, even tell you when you need to put on sunscreen — and that wouldn’t leave the skin underneath it clammy the way Band-Aids do.
A team of researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign say they have built such a patch, and it’s about the size of a bandage. It’s made of plastic and thousands of tiny liquid crystals, not unlike the ones that light up computer and smartphone screens. It’s so flexible that it molds to the body like a second skin.
The device was made to detect changes in the temperature of the skin beneath it; the liquid crystals change color in response to body heat. There are so many crystals, some 3,600 of them, that they can actually depict a heat map, or a picture of what lies below the skin. “It’s like the stuff they used to have in mood rings

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