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We present a novel approach to measure ionic conductivity with a self-powered strategy. In particular, we propose the use of a paper-based battery as a sensor. The battery sensor unit consists of two electrodes placed side-by-side and covered by a piece of hydrophilic paper strip. The electrodes are externally connected to a resistive element. The addition of the fluid to be sensed-which acts as the electrolyte-activates the battery, which generates an output voltage that is dependent on the conductivity of the liquid sample. The device, which is conceived as a single-use disposable sensor, has been tested with different synthetic and biological liquid samples. The battery sensor effectiveness has been assessed by comparing its performance with a commercial laboratory conductometer. The device opens new avenues for conductivity monitoring in small portable and wearable devices, as it simplifies the number of electronic components and the need of additional power sources.


Laura Ortega, Anna Llorella, Juan Pablo Esquivel, Neus Sabaté. Paper-Based Batteries as Conductivity Sensors for Single-Use Applications. ACS sensors. 2020 Jun 26;5(6):1743-1749

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PMID: 32431152

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