New Device to Monitor Health using Sweat


In a new development, a device to monitor health of individuals using their sweat is developed. The device developed is an effort of researchers at Penn State and Xiangtan University.

“Sweat has lot of biomarkers such as pH and glucose, this thus requires the sweat to be analyzed either from daily exercise or from the heat of the sun. The analysis of the sweat using these biomarkers can be a useful indicator for diagnostics or disease progression.

Physically, the device will be placed on a patch placed on the skin near sweat glands. It comprises a small vial with a number of chambers and a hydrophobic water repelling valve. The valve is near the opening composed of silicone rubber. And, the channel has a hydrophilic coating that attracts water and thus enableseasy collection of sweat. On the other hand, the device has one opening unlike most devices. The single opening lessens the amount of evaporation resulting in longer storage tine for later analysis.

Device to witness Interest from Healthcare Industry

Meanwhile, on-the-spot analysis is possible employing a colorimetric approach. Employing this, a color-coded analyte is preplaced in various chambers. The sensitive chemical responds to the glucose or pH level and can be comprehended with the naked eye or photo taken with a smartphone. Furthermore, the researchers can analyze sweat at different points using different chambers. This method of analyzing sweat is called chrono sampling.

For sweat analysis, the device with two valves is more complicated. It requires a clean-room method called photolithography. On the other hand, simple one-valve device can be synthesized without expensive equipment using micromachining.

The device will witness interest from the healthcare industry, and in particular athletics, wherein it can be used to observe overheating or adjust exercise levels for best performance.

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