Researchers from the University of Strathclyde have created a disposable wristband that changes color when the wearer has been exposed to too much UV (ultra violet) light and acts as a warning signal to let people know when it’s time to get out of the sun.
Professor Andrew Mills and Dr Michael McFarlane from the University’s Department of Pure and Applied chemistry were responsible for creating the ingenious device which changes from yellow to pink as the risk of sunburn increases.
The wristband is such a useful invention that Swedish company Intellego Technologies has signed a deal with the University to commercialize the wristbands and they should be widely available by 2013.
The bands are even tailored to suit specific skin types, so that one worn by someone with fair skin and eyes would change color quicker than one being worn by someone with a darker natural coloring.
Because they bands only last a day, they are expected to cost less than 10p each so that people will be encouraged to wear one whenever they are exposed to long periods of sunshine.
They work via an acid-release agent which registers ultraviolet light and a dye which responds to PH levels in the indictor. Sunlight causes the agent to decompose, which in turn leads to the bracelet changing color.
Professor Andrew Mills and Dr Michael McFarlane have been taken on by Intellego Technologies as consultants. The Swedish entrepreneur Claes Lindahl, who started the firm said:
“We are very excited about the UV dosimeter technology and we look forward to developing it further and commercializing it…There is a substantial need out in the market for a functional UV dosimeter and we look forward to continuing the process.”
We have known for quite some time now that prolonged exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, the most virulent strain being malignant melanoma. It is hoped that these bracelets will let people have fun in the sun, whilst at the same time protecting them from the dangers.
University of Strathclyde’s Commercialization manager Fiona Strang said:
“The sunburn monitor will make a significant contribution to public health as an affordable, fashionable device which enables people to enjoy the benefits of the sun while at the same time keeping them alert to the risks of over- exposure.”
(Via Daily Mail)