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Scientists 3D print ‘sticker’ that can tell if you’re at risk of diabetes by collecting your SWEAT

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Sweat contains many important metabolites that can reveal health conditions, and unlike blood sampling, sweat collection is non-invasive.

A simple sticker could pave the way for easier diagnoses of diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure.

Washington researchers have developed a small adhesive health monitor that people can wear discreetly on their arms, packed with tiny pathways that collect and measure their sweat and the levels of three key health markers.

Human testing of the sticker-like devices has shown that they are very accurate in providing measurements of glucose, lactate and uric acid, which could indicate possible kidney and heart problems, as well as diabetes.

Sweat can reveal a wide variety of health problems, but unlike blood sampling, its collection is non-invasive. And the flexible health monitors were manufactured on a 3D printer for a quick and inexpensive manufacturing process.

Researchers said the devices have the potential to have a major impact on the field of healthcare, providing a new method for detecting diseases early.

Sweat contains many important metabolites that can reveal health conditions, and unlike blood sampling, sweat collection is non-invasive.

The health monitor measures sweat on a volunteer's arm. As part of the prototype testing, shown above, the sweat was dyed red and the blue patch was used for comparison in the lab.

The health monitor measures sweat on a volunteer’s arm. As part of the prototype testing, shown above, the sweat was dyed red and the blue patch was used for comparison in the lab.

Chuchu Chen, a doctoral student at Washington State University and first author of the paper, saying: ‘Diabetes is a major problem worldwide.

“I think 3D printing can make a difference in the healthcare field and I wanted to see if we can combine 3D printing with disease detection methods to create a device like this.”

In tests, people wore the patch while exercising and it changed color to indicate specific biochemical levels of the three markers.

It measured users’ uric acid levels, used to diagnose kidney problems, glucose levels, used in diagnosing diabetes, and lactate levels, which reflect exercise intensity and indicate when a person reaches their maximum threshold. a key indicator of personal fitness.

When the researchers compared the results from the monitors on the volunteers’ arms with traditional laboratory results, they found that the monitors accurately and reliably measured the concentration of the chemicals and the rate of sweating.

The researchers wrote in their report, published in the journal SCA SensorsThe study successfully demonstrated “the functionality and reliability of our health monitor, generating reliable results… of sweat rate, glucose, lactate, and uric acid concentrations during physical exercise.”

The small device is manufactured with a 3D printer. It currently measures three biomarkers, but can be expanded relatively easily to detect more

The small device is manufactured with a 3D printer. It currently measures three biomarkers, but can be expanded relatively easily to detect more

The monitor channels are printed on the devices using a technique called direct ink writing, which creates self-supporting structures that collect human sweat.

The structures collect sweat on the sticker, which has been infused with bioassays that measure the presence and quantity of a certain health marker, such as uric acid.

The sticker provides real-time analysis and produces a color change that indicates the levels of each biomarker.

The patches are still undergoing validation testing and have not yet been commercialized. But given the pace at which new technologies are arriving in healthcare, driven primarily by the advent of AI, it may not be long, according to a WSU news release.

People with diabetes can already use sticker-like devices to track their blood glucose levels over time, but they require a small sensor under the skin, making it somewhat invasive.

The sweat sensor, however, does not require any type of incision.

Early detection of diseases, particularly chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, is key to treating them effectively and maximizing life expectancy.

Several of these technologies are already available.

TO fast and painless electrocardiogramwhich requires a doctor to place small electrodes on the patient’s chest, arms and legs to capture the electrical activity of the heart from various angles.

And to detect cancer, particularly lung, breast, colorectal, blood, prostate and ovarian cancer, doctors can use a non-invasive liquid biopsywhich analyzes body fluids such as blood, urine or saliva.

Traditional biopsies require doctors to take tissue samples from the body.

And a simple urine test can help doctors detect elevated creatinine levels in people at risk for kidney disease, as well as evaluate kidney function, potentially mitigating a late-stage diagnosis with little chance of survival.

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