Wearable sensor analyzes sweat to monitor health: Page 2 of 2

February 01, 2016 //By Paul Buckley
Wearable sensor analyzes sweat to monitor health
Engineers at UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) have developed a flexible sensor system designed to measure metabolites and electrolytes in sweat, calibrate the data based upon skin temperature, and sync the results in real time to a smartphone.

Adjacent to the sensor array is the wireless printed circuit board with off-the-shelf silicon components. The researchers used more than 10 integrated circuit chips responsible for taking the measurements from the sensors, amplifying the signals, adjusting for temperature changes and wirelessly transmitting the data. The researchers developed an app to sync the data from the sensors to mobile phones, and fitted the device onto "smart" wristbands and headbands.

They put the device - and dozens of volunteers - through various indoor and outdoor exercises. Study subjects cycled on stationary bikes or ran outdoors on tracks and trails from a few minutes to more than an hour.

"We can easily shrink this device by integrating all the circuit functionalities into a single chip," says Emaminejad. "The number of biochemicals we target can also be ramped up so we can measure a lot of things at once. That makes large-scale clinical studies possible, which will help us better understand athletic performance and physiological responses to exercise."

"While Professor Javey's wearable, non-invasive technology 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," says Brooks. "It can also be adapted to monitor other body fluids for those suffering from illness and injury."

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