PolyPhotonix demonstrates a printed OLED lighting phototherapy blanket

Update: It turns out that these are actually LEDs and not OLEDs in this video - and PolyPhotonix indeed developed both LED and OLED prototypes.

UK-based PolyPhotonix, in collaboration with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), developed a wearable electronic blanket that uses printed OLED lighting to administer a phototherapy for the possible treatment of a number of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and jaundice. The blanket could also be used for wound healing and anti inflammatory treatments.

The blanket uses small flexible OLED devices. The treatment schedule and dosage of the light are programmable - so the treatment can be optimized and also be used for different conditions. The prototype blanket that was demonstrated also includes sensors and can log and record the usage.

Using OLEDs for phototherapy is not a new idea. back in 2006 we reported about a treatment for skin cancer using OLEDs, also researched in the UK. A company called Lumicure was later incorporated, to develop the technology with $5 million in funding and also test it for acne treatment. The company later changed its name to Ambicare and chose to use LEDs and not OLEDs.

In 2013 Polyphotonix developed an OLED-based "sleep mask" that can be used to treat sight loss noninvasively. This device is reportedly the world's first noninvasive primary-care treatment for diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The CPI is going to establish a National Centre for Healthcare Photonics in the UK, which will open in 2017 and enable companies of all sizes to develop related technologies and bring them to market. Pholyphotonix will take part and use the new centre and its facilities.

Posted: Oct 26,2015 by Ron Mertens


This seems rather strange to me:

1) The lightsources shown in the video look more like LED than OLED...bright spots of light instead of areas.

2) The "flexible" part does seem to be in the wiring not in the lightsource.

3) Most of the applications named in the article require quite strong levels of blue light...not necessarily the strong point of OLED.

No OLEDs seen in the video. 


I find two reasons which make OLEDs more compelling in some of the mentioned applications.


1) Better heat distribution. LEDs would create locally hot spots in that wristband.

2) OLEDs help to receive public funding.

indeed, this is flex electronics with LEDs. The lines are printed.


The interconnections and the sensors are printed.  OLEDs were fabricated as part of the project but not shown in the demonstration video released by our partners CPI.  The project was a feasibility project to show the feasibility of printing electronics (including sensors) onto fabrics and to look into where a phototherapy blanket would be beneficial for treatment of various conditions.  OLEDs may be suitable for some and LEDs for others.  


Kind Regards