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Simple device monitors health using sweat

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A device that monitors health conditions in the body using a person’s sweat has been developed by Penn State and Xiangtan University researchers.

The device will be on a patch applied to the skin near sweat glands. It consists of a small vial containing multiple chambers that has a hydrophobic — water repelling — valve near the opening made of silicone rubber. The channel has a hydrophilic — water attracting — coating for easy collection of the sweat. Unlike other devices that require two openings, the single opening reduces the amount of evaporation, leading to longer storage time for later analysis.

On-the-spot analysis can be done using a colorimetric approach in which a color-coded analyte is preplaced in the various chambers. This sensitive chemical responds to the pH or glucose level and can be read by the naked eye or a photo taken with a smartphone.

Credit: Jennifer M. McCann/ Penn State

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