A special necklace measures blood sugar in real time –

Improved blood glucose monitoring

Now, for the first time, a wearable device using a biochemical sensor capable of monitoring blood sugar has been successfully tested. The smart device is worn like a necklace, does not require batteries and, in addition to glucose levels, can also measure other important substances in the body based on sweat.

A class of self-powered wireless biochemical sensors have been tested in a new study involving experts from Ohio State University (OSU). Embedded in a special collar, the sensors can record various biomarkers such as ions, neurotransmitters and metabolites. The results of the study have been published in the journal Science Advances.

How does the collar work without batteries?

The sensors were embedded in a special collar that doesn’t need batteries, but works with a so-called resonant circuit and reflects high-frequency signals sent from an external reading system, the team explains.

Participants consumed sugary drinks

In the study, participants were asked to cycle in an indoor environment for a period of 30 minutes. Then they took a 15 minute break. During this break, they drank sugary drinks before finally continuing to pedal.

Sugar raises blood sugar

Normally, after drinking a sugary drink, the glucose level in the sweat should increase and the question arose whether the new sensor could detect this increase, reports the author of the study, Dr. Jinghua Li from Ohio State University.

In fact, the sensor was able to detect changes in glucose levels based on perspiration.

Important Health Information From Body Fluids

“The next generation of biosensors will be so highly bio-intuitive and non-invasive that we will be able to detect important information in a person’s bodily fluids,” Dr. Li said in a press release.

“Sweat contains hundreds of biomarkers that can provide very important information about our state of health,” adds the doctor.

What can we read about biomarkers?

So-called biomarkers refer to substances that can indicate a wide variety of health and emotional issues. For example, people’s bodily fluids (such as sweat, tears, saliva, and urine) can indicate illness, infection, and even signs of emotional trauma.

The sensor could find use in bio-implants

The new sensor can not only analyze the composition of sweat. The research team explains that it should also be adapted as a bioimplant and used to detect neurotransmitters and hormones.

It could also help identify so-called ionic disorders in the CSF, which are associated with secondary brain damage, and the sensor could even contribute to a better understanding of brain function.

Experts report that further miniaturization would facilitate the implantation of such and similar devices. But until then, the lightweight necklace-like device can easily fit into everyday life.

Thanks to the miniaturized structure of the sensor interface, only a minimum of sweat is needed to ensure that the collar works properly, points out Dr. Li. The expert However, it will still be some time before a similar device to the prototype is made available to the public.

“We hope that one day these sensors can be integrated seamlessly into our personal belongings. Some of us may wear necklaces, others earrings or rings. But we believe that these sensors could be integrated into something that we all wear and that could help us better monitor our health, ”concludes Dr. Li (as)

Author and source information

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.

Sources:

Tzu-Li Liu, Yan Dong, Shulin Chen, Jie Zhou, Zhenqiang Ma, et al. : Wireless sensor systems inspired by batteryless tuning circuits for the detection of multiple biomarkers in body fluids; in: Science Advances (published 07/06/2022 Vol 8, Issue 27), Science Advances Ohio State University: Smart necklace biosensor may track health status through sweat (published 07/22/2022), OSU

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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