A wearable sensor developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology can detect amino acids and certain vitamins in small amounts of human sweat.
The technology features molecularly imprinted polymers that act as reusable antibodies, overcoming the challenges associated with previous sweat sensors that use antibodies (which can be used just once) to detect compounds at low concentrations.
For a sensor to detect the amino acid glutamine, for instance, the polymer would be prepared with glutamine molecules, leaving holes shaped like glutamine when the molecules are removed through a chemical process.
An electrical signal is generated when sweat contacts the inner layer of the sensor, and the signal weakens as glutamine molecules are plugged into the holes in the polymer, helping to determine how much glutamine is in the wearer's sweat.
The use of microfluidics also means the sensor can operate with a miniscule amount of sweat.
From Caltech News
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