Since Fitbits and Apple Watches revolutionized widespread health monitoring through the use of wearable sensors, a plethora of new studies has sought to push the bounds of wearable sensors’ abilities.
Now, a team of bioengineers from the University of Texas at Dallas has collaborated with EnLiSense LLC to create a wearable sensor that can identify the prevalence of infections through sweat.
Their study, published in Advanced Materials Technologies, found that the sweat sensor can detect two important biomarkers– one known as gamma-inducible protein (IP-10) and the other known as tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL).
If the wearable sensor detects elevated levels of either biomarker in your sweat, then there is likely a cytokine storm occurring in your body.
A cytokine storm is an immune reaction that occurs when the human body has contracted a severe infection.
Dr. Shalini Prasad, the head of bioengineering, described how detecting these markers via sweat is groundbreaking.
“Our work is pioneering because, until this date, it was unclear whether these molecules were present in sweat,” Dr. Prasad said.
“We established that our low-volume passive sweat technology is indeed able to measure these biomarkers.”
And with COVID-19 infections still a risk throughout the world, this sensor provides wearers with early insight into their Coronavirus positivity. It could also detect the flu.