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Multi-Tasking Wearable Continuously Monitors Glucose, Alcohol, Lactate

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The wearable device on a test subject.

The device, about the size of a stack of six quarters, is applied to the skin through a Velcro-like patch of microneedles, each about one-fifth the width of a human hair.

Credit: Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics/UC San Diego

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) engineers have created a prototype wearable device that can continuously track monitor glucose, alcohol, and lactate levels simultaneously.

The device is applied to the skin of the upper arm via microneedles smaller than the width of a human hair, which detect biomolecules in interstitial fluid; it is attached to a case housing the device's electronics.

When enzymes on the tips of the microneedles react with glucose, alcohol, and lactate in interstitial fluid, the wearable transmits analytical data wirelessly to a custom smartphone application.

UCSD's Farshad Tehrani said, "With our wearable, people can see the interplay between their glucose spikes or dips with their diet, exercise, and drinking of alcoholic beverages. That could add to their quality of life as well."

From UC San Diego News Center
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