Medical Skin Sweat Sensor can Measure Multiple Biomarkers

Medical Skin Sweat Sensor can Measure Multiple Biomarkers

Researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a Swiss company called Xsensio have presented a new medical sweat sensor on December 6, 2017, at International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco.

Sweat sensor is capable of detecting various useful chemical biomarkers, sweat pH level, and temperature of the skin. This medical sensor technology is based on tiny, dual layer capillary action pump, which moves microscopic quantities of sweat into the chip and onto its four silicone sensors.

The sensing chip is less than a centimeter square (5/32 inches sq) and is designed to make direct contact with the skin. Thickness of each sensor is 20 nanometers and it is coated with different materials. Each material reacts with different types of biomarker. Different chemicals that detect proteins, electrolytes, metabolytes, and other compounds can be placed onto the sensors allowing for an extremely modular and sensitive sensing system.

According to the Medical Sensors market report published by Coherent Market Insights, medical sensor devices play a major role in the monitoring and tracking of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, which can help in early diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Manufactures can integrate the chip into a wearable device according to the requirement. The sensor should be in contact with skin for precise results. Cystic fibrosis is one of the diseases, which are mainly screened using sweat monitoring.

“Ours is the only device out there that includes such a system on a chip,” said EPFL’s Adrian Ionescu, a professor who has worked on the new technology. “Even today’s most advanced devices use sensors that are 10,000 times bigger than ours, and need a larger volume of sweat to be able to effectively analyze biomarkers.”

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