AsianScientist (May 1, 2019) – A team of scientists in China has developed a biosensor bandage that can detect the pH and levels of chloride, glucose or calcium in sweat. They published their findings in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
Compared with other biofluids such as blood, sweat can be obtained less invasively for diagnostic testing. Researchers have developed tools to collect and analyze sweat, such as temporary tattoos or microfluidic devices, but they typically require wires, electronics or sophisticated structures.
Seeking to make sweat-based diagnostics more convenient, scientists led by Professor Zhang Xueji at the University of Science and Technology China have developed a bandage-like biosensor that both collects and—in conjunction with a smart phone—analyzes sweat.
To make their device, the researchers coated a flexible polyester film with a superhydrophobic silica suspension. They then etched microwells into the silica layer to collect perspiration.
At the bottom of the wells, they placed dyes that change color with pH or concentration of chloride, glucose or calcium. The team added an adhesive backing and attached the biosensor bandage onto a volunteer’s skin.
When the person exercised, their perspiration collected in the microwells, and the spots changed colors. By imaging and analyzing the colors with a cell phone, the researchers determined that the sweat pH was 6.5-7.0, with a chloride concentration of about 100 mM and trace amounts of calcium and glucose. The researchers are now working on increasing the sensitivity of the device.
The article can be found at: He et al. (2019) Flexible and Superwettable Bands as a Platform toward Sweat Sampling and Sensing.
Source: American Chemical Society.
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