Moderate exposure to sunlight has significant health benefits – vitamin D production, beneficial modulation of blood pressure, and psychological effects of well-being. However, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation also is a major risk factor for most skin cancers.
That means that, while moderate exposure to sunlight is recommended, there is a fine line to walk between beneficial and harmful amounts of UV exposure.
To take the guesswork out of assessing the exposure to damaging UV rays, several wearable consumer UV sensors have already hit the market. For instance, we have previously reported on a stick-on epidermal electronics tattoo to measure UV exposure in a previous Nanowerk Spotlight.
Researchers in Mexico have now proposed a simple and low-cost stick-on nanoplasmonic patch made of optically active silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) embedded in a film of nanopaper. The patch changes color once it has been exposed to a certain amount of UV light.
The findings have been reported in an accepted paper in Analytical Chemistry (“Wearable Nanoplasmonic Patch-Detecting Sun/UV Exposure“).