Sweat sensors could someday monitor health

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Sweat sensors could someday monitor health. You don't need a sensor to know that you get SwampButt in Winter.
Sweat sensors could someday monitor health. You don’t need a sensor to know that you get SwampButt in Winter.

Sweat sensors could someday monitor health. Listen to your perspiration: ‘Sweat sensors’ could someday monitor health in real time. What an age we live in, where sensors will be able to diagnose health and disease just from sweat. But for those who already sweat a lot, you do not need a sensor to know that your butt sweats a lot. So yes, sweat sensors’ could someday monitor health in real time. Until then, wear SwampButt Underwear.
As health-conscious and active individuals flock to “wearables” such as watches and heart-rate monitors, technology can help us learn more about our bodies. New sensors may someday be able to monitor our sweat and offer important information about our health. Sweat sensors could someday monitor health.
Researchers at the Northwestern University Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, in Evanston, Ill., have developed an adhesive sensor that can “read” a person’s sweat to learn more about the state of their health. Information can be wirelessly transmitted to the person’s smart phone for real-time analysis.
Researchers say this device may someday be able to serve as an alternative to blood tests.
Sweat is full of chemical molecules that can indicate what is happening inside the human body. Doctors can use it to diagnose certain diseases, reveal drug use and gain insight into athletic performance.
The best part about reading sweat is that it’s readily accessible and doesn’t require invasive procedures to obtain it. Researchers say these sensors may someday enable doctors to more easily monitor the health of their patients and to help athletes optimize their performance. Sweat sensors could someday monitor health.
“Sweat is a rich, chemical broth containing a number of important chemical compounds with physiological health information … (The platform) we developed will allow people to monitor their health on the spot without the need for a blood sampling,” says John Rogers, materials scientist and director of the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics.
The sensor is roughly the size of a quarter and designed for a one-time use of a few hours. It features “microfluidics” that move sweat down microscopic channels into compartments 4 millimeters in diameter. Each of these chambers measures specific biomarkers, such as pH, lactate, chloride and glucose levels. The sensor also can determine sweat rate and can store samples for more laboratory examination. Data is wirelessly synced with the smart phone app for analysis. Sweat sensors could someday monitor health.
Sweat can say a number of things about a person’s health. Too little could be a sign of dehydration. Too much could be a sign of excessive body heat. Excessively “fishy” smelling body odor also can be a sign of trimethylaminuria, a genetic disorder where the body can’t break down the chemical trimethylamine found in eggs, legumes and fish. Excessive sweating could even be a sign of hyperhidrosis, thyroid issues and even diabetes.
Other sweat sensors also are in development. Engineers at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif., are testing an integrated system to simultaneously and selectively measure multiple sweat analytics. Their small sensor can be placed in “smart” wearables like wristbands or headbands to provide continuous analysis. The Berkeley device features a circuit board with five sensors that measure glucose, lactate, sodium, potassium and skin temperature. Researchers put the devices through various exercises with dozens of volunteers.
Sweat sensors may someday be used for more than optimizing workouts. George Brooks, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology, says it also can be adapted to monitor other body fluids for those suffering from illness and injury. Data also could help spark early detection of some ailments. Multiples studies have shown that early detection of many cancers and diseases can significantly improve the outcome for the patient.
“While (it) works well on sweating athletes, there are likely to be many other applications of the technology for measuring vital metabolite and electrolyte levels of healthy persons in daily life,” Brooks says.
This article comes to us from Dispatch Argus on line.