3D modeling and characterization of a calorimetric flow rate sensor for sweat rate sensing applications

Ahmed Tashfin Iftekhar, Axel Peter Mellinger, Tolga Kaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sweat-based physiological monitoring has been intensively explored in the last decade with the hopes of developing real-time hydration monitoring devices. Although the content of sweat (electrolytes, lactate, urea, etc.) provides significant information about the physiology, it is also very important to know the rate of sweat at the time of sweat content measurements because the sweat rate is known to alter the concentrations of sweat compounds. We developed a calorimetric based flow rate sensor using PolydimethylSiloxane that is suitable for sweat rate applications. Our simple approach on using temperature-based flow rate detection can easily be adapted to multiple sweat collection and analysis devices. Moreover, we have developed a 3D finite element analysis model of the device using COMSOL Multiphysics™ and verified the flow rate measurements. The experiment investigated flow rate values from 0.3 μl/min up to 2.1 ml/min, which covers the human sweat rate range (0.5 μl/min-10 μl/min). The 3D model simulations and analytical model calculations covered an even wider range in order to understand the main physical mechanisms of the device. With a verified 3D model, different environmental heat conditions could be further studied to shed light on the physiology of the sweat rate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2017


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