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New wearable sensor could help detect chronic diseases

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A team of scientists led by an Indian-origin at the have created a new wearable sensor that could help people detect like

Ravinder Dahiya, of the university's School of and (BEST) group, explained that his team was successful in building a stretchable, which is capable of measuring the pH level of the user's sweat.

In a new paper titled 'Stretchable for Sweat pH Monitoring' published in the journal - and - today, the team highlights that their discovery would avoid the discomfort of regular pin-prick blood tests by monitoring the of their sweat instead.

"Human sweat contains much of the same physiological information that blood does, and its use in has the significant advantage of not needing to break the skin in order to administer tests," said Dahiya.

"Now that we've demonstrated that our stretchable system can be used to monitor pH levels, we've already begun additional research to expand the capabilities of the sensor and make it a more complete diagnostic system. We're planning to add sensors capable of measuring glucose, ammonia and urea, for example, and ultimately we'd like to see a system ready for market in the next few years," he said.

Sweat, like blood, contains generated in the human body, including glucose and urea. Monitoring the levels of those in sweat could help clinicians diagnose and monitor such as diabetes, and some types of without invasive tests which require blood to be drawn from patients.

However, non-invasive, require consistent contact with skin to offer the highest-quality monitoring.

Current systems are made from rigid materials, making it more difficult to ensure consistent contact, and other such as adhesives can irritate skin.

which use to transmit their information are also often bulky and power-hungry, requiring frequent recharging.

The team's new system is built around an inexpensively-produced sensor capable of measuring pH levels which can stretch and flex to better fit the contours of users' bodies.

The sensor can transmit its data wirelessly, and without external power, to an accompanying app called 'SenseAble', also developed by the team.

The transmissions use near-field communication, a data transmission system found in many current which is used most often for payments like ApplePay, via a stretchable RFID antenna integrated into the system another breakthrough innovation from the research team.

The app allows users to track pH levels in and was demonstrated in the lab using a created by the researchers which mimics the composition of human sweat.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 21 2018. 17:25 IST