A device that might one day utilize the chemical indicators in sweat to identify changes in a person’s health has successfully undergone testing by researchers.
A team from The Ohio State University recently presented a wireless, battery-free biochemical sensor that could detect the blood sugar, or glucose, that individuals release from their skin when they exercise. The work was published in the journal Science Advances.
The Ohio State researchers created a “smart necklace” that included a working clasp and pendant and was worn around the participants’ necks to track their blood glucose levels as they exercised.
It operates without a battery by reflecting radio frequency signals from an external reader system using a resonance circuit. Participants cycled for a minimum of 30 minutes, had a 15-minute rest, and then resumed cycling after consuming sugar-sweetened drinks.
According to Jinghua Li, co-author of the work and assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State, the challenge was whether this novel sensor would detect the rise in sweat glucose levels that should occur after consuming a sweetened beverage.
The sensor did effectively track the glucose levels, according to the data, which implies that it will also be able to detect other significant compounds in sweat.
Sweat actually contains hundreds of biomarkers that can reveal very important information about our health status. The next generation of biosensors will be so highly bio-intuitive and non-invasive that we will be able to detect key information contained in a person’s body fluids.
Jinghua Li, Study Co-Author and Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering, Ohio State University
Biomarkers are materials that can reveal a body’s most intimate information: