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Move the needle up, the wearable sweat sensor is the future of diagnostics



New wearable sensors developed by scientists at UC Berkeley can provide real-time measurements of sweat rate and electrolytes and metabolites.
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Bizon Musky, Sunchurch National University


Specialists have developed wearable skin sensors that can bypass the need for more aggressive procedures such as blood drawings for diagnostic tests.

Needles not your thing? University of California, Berkeley scientists .A team of scientists is developing wearable skin sensors that can detect what is in your sweat.

They hope that one day, sweat monitoring can bypass the need for more invasive procedures, such as blood clotting, and provide real-time updates on health issues such as dehydration or fatigue.

In a paper Science .The progress of science, The team describes a new sensor design that can be quickly produced using "roll-to-roll" processing technology that essentially prints the sensors on a sheet of plastic, like words on a newspaper.

They were using sensors to measure sweat, and electrolytes and metabolism in sweat volunteers and others who were experiencing chemically induced sweating.

"There are many hopes that non-invasive sweat tests can alter blood-based criteria for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes, but we have shown that there is no universal correlation between sweating and blood glucose levels.

"The aim of the project is not just to create a sensor, but to start studying many topics and to see what the sweat says – I'm always & # 39; decoding & # 39;" said Ali Jawe, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Sweat composition, "said Ali Jawe, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science. UC Berkeley and senior author on paper.

"For that we need sensors that are reliable, reproducible, and we want to scale up so that we can put multiple sensors in different places of the body and put them on many subjects," said Jawe, who also serves as a faculty scientist. At the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

New sensors include a spiraling microscopic tube or microfluidic, which sweeps through the skin. By trucking how fast a sweat moves through the microfluidic, the sensor can report how much a person is sweating, or his sweating rate.

Microfluidics are also equipped with chemical sensors that can detect metabolism concentrations like electrolytes and glucose, such as potassium and sodium.

Jawe and his team worked with researchers at Finland's VTT Technology Research Center to develop ways to quickly create sensor patches in roll-to-roll processing technology, just like screen printing.

"Roll-to-roll processing enables high volume production of low-cost disposable patches," said Jussi Hiltunen of VTT. “While the number of test devices does not limit research, educational groups benefit significantly from roll-to-roll technology. Additionally, up-scaled forgery shows the potential to apply the concept of sweat-sensing to practical applications. "

To better understand what sweating can say about the real-time health of the human body, researchers first put sweat sensors on volunteers' bodies – including the forehead, arms, underarms and upper back – and measured their sweat rate and the levels of sodium and potassium in their sweat. Riding on an exercise bike.

They found out that local sweating rates indicate a loss of overall body fluids during exercise, meaning that sweating rates can be a way for the athlete to give up when he is pushing himself too hard.

"What people have traditionally done is to collect the sweat from the body for a certain period of time and then analyze it," said Hunin Yin Yin Nayen, a graduate student at UC Berkeley's Materials Science and Engineering and its lead author. Paper. "So you couldn't really see the dynamic changes with good resolution. Using these wearable devices we can now collect continuous data from different parts of the body, for example how to estimate the loss of whole body fluid from loss of local sweating. "

They used sensors to compare sweat glucose levels and blood glucose levels in healthy and diabetic patients, and not a single sweat glucose measure indicates glucose levels in a person's blood.

Mallika said: "There is much hope that non-invasive sweat tests can change blood-based criteria for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes, but we have shown that there is no universal correlation between sweat and blood glucose levels. Baria, a graduate student in materials science and engineering from UC Berkeley, and other lead author on paper. "It's important for the community to know that, so we can focus on investigating individual or multi-parameter correlations going forward."


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