“Imagination is the highest form of research”
– Albert Einstein
[is] portrayed in this revolutionary device. It is like slapping a sticker on your skin. The Northwestern University research team who developed this sweat analysis device, showed a number of innovations through this device. The device can capture, store and analyze sweat in real time. This device can quantitatively determine biomarker levels using colorimetric analysis. Power source is not required to display the results; instead, a smartphone camera and app are used to read the biomarkers change.
This is a flexible microfluidic device which easily adheres to the skin either in the forearm or the back. It measures the wearer’s sweat to show how his or her body is responding to exercise. According to the researchers, this adhesive sensor could work as an alternative to blood tests to review people’s health one day.
Why choose sweat?
Perspiration is an abounding chemical, full of molecules ranging from simple electrically charged ions to more complex proteins that can cast light on what is happening inside the human body. Doctors can use sweat to identify certain diseases, uncover drug use and reveal insight into athletic performance. Sweat also can be collectedfar less invasively than blood.
Sweat detector- Construction
The Scientists set in a chemical sensors and other devices into a soft, flexible silicone rubber disc, which is little larger than a quarter and about the same thickness, which can easily stick to the skin. The device is intended to collect and analyze sweat for key biomarkers which is a naturally occurring molecule, gene or characteristic by which a specific pathological or physiological process, disease, etc… can be identified through which, a person can decide quickly if any adjustments, such as drinking extra water or replenishing electrolytes, need to be made up or if something is medically awry.
This wearable lab contains “microfluidics” designed to direct fluids inside themselves in the same way that microelectronics do with electrons. Particularly, the sensor moves the sweat down, a number of microscopic channels that are about 0.02 inches (i.e. 0.5 mm) wide into compartments about 0.16 inches (i.e.4 mm) in diameter. Each of these chambers measures certain biomarkers, such as pH, chloride, lactate and glucose levels.
These four biomarkers were chosen because they provide a characteristic profile that is significant for health-status determination, as said by the researchers. The device can also determine sweat rate and loss, and it can store samples for subsequent laboratory analysis, if necessary.
This device is designed as a one-timer used only for a few hours. In the future, it may be more largely used for disease diagnosis.When a Smartphone is brought into proximity with this device, the wireless electronics activates an app that captures a photo of the device and study the image to yield data on the biomarker concentrations.
During moderate or brisk exercise, sweat winds through the tiny microscopic channels of the device and into the four different small, circular compartments. In the compartments, reactions with chemical reagents result in observable color changes, in ways that quantitatively connect to pH and concentration of glucose, chloride and lactate.
“The aim is for the sensors to come in less than $1.50 per device” said the researchers. At that price point the researchers think it would reasonably find application for one-time use.
In terms of instant commercial applications, the scientists feel that this device could be used in fitness, wellness and exercise. For example, for athletes to track sweat rate and electrolyte loss. The researchers are also working with a large biomedical device company to use these, to non-invasively trace glucose in sweat in the context of diabetes and alsowith the U.S. Air Force to trace the health states of active-duty airmen.
In the group of people who cycled indoors, the researchers distinguished the new device’s biomarker readouts to the conventional laboratory study of the same sweat and found the two sets of results agreed with each other. Conventional methods consist of capturing sweat with absorbent patches taped to the skin and analyzing them off-site.With the long-distance cyclists, the researchers checked the durability of the device in the complex and erratic conditions of the desert. The device was found to be robust. The device stayed adhered to the athlete’s skin, did not leak and provided the kind of quality information that the researchers required.
Why go for this device?
The best part of this technology is that it does not require a battery, but with the help of a Smartphone we can connect the device. This device won’t be an additional carry on while doing exercise. Its presence won’t even be felt which will be an added advantage. With the emerging technologies, this device could be extended to other bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears.
Looking at these developments, it is high time for us to realize where we stand in the present day world. We have to kindle our mind and start thinking something new. There is nothing impossible; it all depends on how we are going to take ourselves forward. So start off today, maybe like how we can work on the next bodily fluids or even something extremely new. The next generation technology has a long way to go, so get your s