Wearable sensors detect what’s in your sweat

Wearable sensors detect what’s in your sweat


A team of scientists at the University of
California, Berkeley, is developing wearable skin sensors that can detect what’s in your
sweat. They hope that one day, monitoring perspiration
could bypass the need for more invasive procedures like blood draws, and provide real-time updates
on health problems such as dehydration or fatigue. In a paper published in the journal Science
Advances, the team describes a new sensor design that can be rapidly manufactured using
a “roll-to-roll” processing technique that essentially prints the sensors onto a sheet
of plastic like words on a newspaper. They used the sensors to monitor the sweat
rate, and the electrolytes and metabolites in sweat, from volunteers who were exercising,
and others who were experiencing chemically induced perspiration. The new sensors contain a spiraling microscopic
tube, or microfluidic, that wicks sweat from the skin. By tracking how fast the sweat moves through
the microfluidic, the sensors can report how much a person is sweating, or their sweat
rate. The microfluidics are also outfitted with
chemical sensors that can detect concentrations of electrolytes like potassium and sodium,
and metabolites like glucose.

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