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Scientific invention at Museum of Modern Art

Scientific invention at Museum of Modern Art

Science Becomes Art

Engineering invention at New York's Museum of Modern Art

Northwestern engineer John Rogers has elevated his cutting edge invention, a “bio-integrated lab," to a rare level of cultural prominence as part of a new exhibit in New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In addition to multiple versions of the device itself, the exhibit includes an animated video (above) from Northwestern to illustrate the technology and showcase potential future applications.

"Items: Is Fashion Modern?" opened Oct. 1 to critical acclaim where the exhibit is exploring the past, present and future of garments and accessories that have impacted society and culture over the last century. 

The exhibit highlights the intersection of fashion and functionality, design and technology and science and art, providing Rogers a rare showcase for first-of-its-kind wearable that measures sweat for precision chemical analysis. Read more about Rogers' "bio-integrated lab" at MoMA.

Bio-integrated Technology

More temporary tattoo than Fitbit

Next-level sweat analysis

About the size of a quarter, but soft and flexible like the skin itself, this simple, low-cost device collects sweat and analyzes key biomarkers to enable people to make important adjustments during a workout, like drinking more water or replenishing electrolytes. See Rogers describe the technology.

Medical device on skin
John Rogers

It is almost like a second skin, completely non-irritating and bio compatible. And from the standpoint of design, the appearance really matters as well.”

John Rogers, discussing the factors key to the inclusion of his device in the MoMA exhibition.

In the future

The "bio-integrated lab" could have even more applications where electronics integrate inside the body, for monitoring of chemistry and even regulating the body’s health.

MoMA exterior

Published: October 02, 2017. Updated: December 08, 2020.

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