Sweat Detectors Tiny Body Gadgets
Perspiration is a rich chemical full of molecules ranging from simple electrically charged ions to more complex proteins that can shed light on what is happening inside the human body. Doctors can use sweat to diagnose certain diseases, uncover drug use and reveal insight into athletic performance. Sweat also can be gathered far less invasively than blood, said study senior author John Rogers, a materials scientist and director of Northwestern University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics in Evanston, Illinois.
In the new study, scientists embedded chemical sensors and other devices into a soft, flexible silicone rubber disc, about the size and thickness of a quarter, that can easily stick to skin. The device is designed to collect and analyze sweat for key biomarkers, or markers of health. For instance, the sensor can show how people are responding to exercise, including whether someone needs to make adjustments, such as drinking more water or replenishing electrolytes. [Bionic Humans: Top 10 Technologies]