Smart necklace prototype successfully monitors glucose levels

July 25, 2022
Smart necklace prototype successfully monitors glucose levels

Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) are working on a daily-wear device that detect and monitors s a person’s blood sugar from sweat. The researchers have tested out a prototype biochemical sensor that mimics a necklace, which has so far successfully tracked glucose levels in participants of a study conducted by OSU.

“Sweat actually contains hundreds of biomarkers that can reveal very important information about our health status,” said Jinghua Li, OSU assistant professor of materials science and engineering. She specifically refers to biomarkers in bodily fluids such as sweat, tears, saliva and urine.

The smart necklace requires only a minimum amount of sweat for the sensing interface to work due to its miniaturised structure, which leverages a wireless resonance circuit instead of a battery. The design of the ultra-thin components ensures the device remains highly flexible while still functional, and most importantly, can safely come into contact with a person’s skin.

Study participants were made to wear the necklaces throughout a sweat-inducing indoor cycling session, followed by a short break, during which they drank sugar-sweetened beverages, before resuming cycling – OSU researchers noted the device picked up the shift in sugar levels almost immediately.

The researchers believe this device could one day be customised as bioimplants and used to detect neurotransmitters and hormones from cerebrospinal fluid, in addition to analysing the composition of sweat.

Li imagines a lightweight device with simple circuit layouts could be easily integrated into our daily lives: “We hope that eventually these sensors can be seamlessly integrated into our personal belongings. Some of us may wear necklaces, some may wear earrings or rings. But we believe these sensors could be placed in something we all wear and that it could help us better track our health.”

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Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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