Jewelry of the future may be used not only as a fashion accessory, but also to monitor aspects of a person’s health, thanks to new research from The Ohio State University. Researchers there have developed a device that can be worn around the neck to monitor a person’s glucose levels from sweat excreted when he or she exercises, they said. It could one day be used as a way to help people with diabetes to keep track of their blood sugar without painful pin pricks, they said. The so-called “smart necklace” includes a typical clasp and pendant, but also features a battery-free, wireless biochemical sensor that researchers used to measure test subjects’ blood sugar through their perspiration, they said.
“Sweat actually contains hundreds of biomarkers that can reveal very important information about our health status,” Jinghua Li, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State, stated in an article in Ohio State News. “The next generation of biosensors will be so highly bio-intuitive and non-invasive that we’ll be able to detect key information contained in a person’s body fluids.”
Indeed, scientists are finding human perspiration a useful natural component for novel wearable-device design. A research team from Penn State University already has used sweat to measure glucose with the development of a non-invasive patch-like sensor made with a nickel-gold alloy.
Meanwhile, engineers at the University of California (UC) San Diego developed a wearable microgrid that harvests energy from various renewable sources—including perspiration—to power small electronic devices.
Smart Necklace Design
While the smart necklace designed by the Ohio State team doesn’t use sweat to power the device, it does work without a battery by using a resonance circuit, which reflects radio frequency signals sent out by an external reader system for power, researchers said. The sensor is made