Researchers Develop Wearable to Decode Dynamic Composition

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Researchers analyzed both iontophore-induced and exercise-induced sweat in selected volunteers.

Researchers have developed a new wearable skin sensor at the University of California in Berkeley that could help to compare how the chemical composition of the body changes with situations. This novel device could detect the presence of different issues such as dehydration or fatigue. Researchers believe sweat as a mirroring element of body chemicals though it has not been proved. However, researchers have produced this device in bulk, so as to accommodate a mass study on sweat. In the current study, the device and sensors will analyze the rate of sweat production and its composition in terms of glucose and salts.

These novel devices were placed at strategic places such as the forehead, underarm, upper back, and forearm. Researchers analyzed both iontophore-induced and exercise-induced sweat in selected volunteers. The measurement showed that the rate of sweat production was connected to exercise-induced fluid or electrolyte depletion. Moreover, iontophore-induced sweat was also examined, which showed significant differences with the type of sweat. Thereafter, samples of blood and sweat fasting glucose levels in healthy and diabetic participants were compared. The current system allowed researchers to collect both blood and sweat glucose measurements at the same time.

This test showed that single tests of sweat glucose were not accurate indicators of blood glucose concentration. Lead author of the study Mallika Bariya said, “There’s been a lot of hope that non-invasive sweat tests could replace blood-based measurements for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes, but we’ve shown that there isn’t a simple, universal correlation between sweat and blood glucose levels.” Researchers said, more work is needed to understand the correlation of sweat composition with age, body weight, diet, and hydration status.

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About Author

Latisha Diaz is a general assignment reporter at Plains Gazette. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in his journalism career, and has lived in City Houston for more than 8 years. Latisha has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.