New Wearable Medical Sensors Work on Sweat at Your Fingertips | Smart News

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Newly developed medical sensor works on sweat from fingertips, reports Rachel Fritts for Science. The researchers behind this sweat-powered device were able to make it thin and flexible like a bandage by removing the need for bulky batteries that weigh down other medical sensors. Even without batteries, the new slim sensors could be used to detect health and nutrition metrics such as blood sugar, heart rate or vitamin deficiencies.

New ScientistMatthew Sparkes reports that the new sensors, described in an article published this week in the journal Joule, absorb a compound in human sweat called lactate with a foam patch that contains an enzyme that oxidizes lactate to generate electricity.

A typical 10 hour night’s sleep can produce 20 to 40 microwatts of power per finger, which, like New Scientist notes, wouldn’t charge a smartphone but could keep a wristwatch running for 24 hours – and that’s more than enough to keep the sensors online. The researchers say they chose the fingertips as the location for their device because the fingertips actually have the highest concentration of sweat glands in the human body – each has over 1,000 that are always sweating, few doesn’t matter what we do.

This device is not the first medical sensor to work with sweat, according to Science, but it’s the first that doesn’t require a torrent of sweat to collect enough lactate to survive.

“Unlike other wearable sweat-powered devices, this one requires no exercise, no physical input from the wearer to be useful,” says Lu Yin, engineer at the University of California San Diego and author principal of the research, in a statement. “This work is a step forward in making clothing more practical, practical and accessible for the everyday person.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_Bcthb4uTU%20

While the sensors can subsist on sweat alone, they can also regain energy from light pressure applied to the fingertips during activities such as typing, texting, or even texting. listening to a melody on a piano.

“Our goal is to make it a practical device,” Yin said in the statement. “We want to show that it’s not just another cool thing that can generate a small amount of power and then that’s it – we can actually use the energy to power useful electronic devices such as sensors and screens. “

Yin tells New Scientist the enzyme used in current prototypes of the device only lasts about two weeks before losing its ability to generate electricity. The next step will be to develop a more stable enzyme that could extend the life of the sensor.

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