Research ArticleBiosensors

A soft, wearable microfluidic device for the capture, storage, and colorimetric sensing of sweat

Science Translational Medicine  23 Nov 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 366, pp. 366ra165
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2593

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Better health? Prepare to sweat

Wearable technology is a popular way many people monitor their general health and fitness, tracking heart rate, calories, and steps. Koh et al. now take wearable technology one step further. They have developed and tested a flexible microfluidic device that adheres to human skin. This device collects and analyzes sweat during exercise. Using colorimetric biochemical assays and integrating smartphone image capture analysis, the device detected lactate, glucose, and chloride ion concentrations in sweat as well as sweat pH while stuck to the skin of individuals during a controlled cycling test. Colorimetric readouts showed comparable results to conventional analyses, and the sweat patches remained intact and functional even when used during an outdoor endurance bicycle race. The authors suggest that microfluidic devices could be used during athletic or military training and could be adapted to test other bodily fluids such as tears or saliva.

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