John Rogers on Epidermal Electronic Platforms

John Rogers is the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine at Northwestern University, with affiliate appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemistry, where he is also Director of the recently endowed Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics. He is also a featured speaker at the 2020 Engineering Cosmetics and Consumer Products Conference. We recently chatted with John about what we can expect at this year's meeting.

In your opinion, what is the most important current trend in cosmetics and consumer products engineering?  

A very important and powerful trend is grounded in the idea that new devices can capture precision digital data as the basis to quantitatively match, and in some cases customize, a cosmetic product to an individual’s skin properties, health, and appearance.

The results have the potential to remove much of the customer uncertainty that often is associated with selection of the best available products. Customer-oriented but data-driven decision-making is an important emerging theme not only in cosmetics but in many other consumer product industries as well.

From your perspective, what are some of the biggest challenges scientists/engineers face in this field?  

From an engineering standpoint, certain critical measurements of the skin require physical contact to a sensing element. Building device platforms that are soft, flexible, and extremely gentle to the skin, yet embed the highest quality digital sensors and associated electronics, is an important engineering challenge – particularly for sensitive regions of the skin on the face, such as around the eyes, and on other parts of the body.

Engineering solutions are just now beginning to emerge in medical grade, skin-interfaced biosensors that have these qualities.  Many of these strategies are highly relevant in cosmetics.

What specifically will you be talking about at the conference?  

I will be speaking on our portfolio of skin-like, or "epidermal," electronic platforms. I will present a perspective on their existing roles in clinical health care, but I will focus mainly on their emerging uses in areas of core relevance to cosmetics and skin beauty. I will highlight some recent collaborative work with L’Oreal in personalized measurements of exposure to UV and blue light; in skin hydration and stiffness monitoring; and in measuring skin pH.

What message would you like the audience to take away from this year’s conference?  

Advances in engineering science will transform the cosmetics industry, by empowering customers with high quality digital metrics on their skin to guide product choices and brand engagement.

Learn more about the 2020 Engineering Cosmetics and Consumer Products Conference

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John A. Rogers

John Rogers has published more than 700 papers, is a co-inventor on more than 100 patents and he has co-founded several successful technology companies.  His research has been recognized by many awards. Read more