Sweat-Based Wearable Device to Measure Glucose

Glucose sweat

The advent of wearable devices has made our lives easier by allowing us to monitor our health on a daily basis in a non-invasive way. The devices currently in the market are able to monitor physiological conditions like activity, heart rate, and sleep quality, but cannot measure biochemical information, which would be useful for managing various health conditions.

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For instance, the usual method of measuring blood glucose is a by a finger-prick test. But now, researchers have developed a non-invasive way of measuring glucose, and that is from sweat. However, these sweat-based glucose sensors suffer from slow analysis time and unstable electrochemical measurement.

Prof. Dae-Hyeong Kim from the Institute for Basic Science and Seoul National University, and colleagues are tackling this issue. They designed a disposable sweat-analysis strip that is integrated into a wearable smart band for physiological monitoring of heart rate, blood oxygen saturation level, and other vital signs. This strip has a multilayered structure that serves to collect, visualize, and analyze the user’s sweat all in one, reports Advanced Science News.

Glucose sweat
Image: Advanced Science News

This is how it works. The user first attaches the sweat strip to the desired area of the body and wears the smart band on the wrist. When enough sweat is accumulated (during exercise or other activities), the hydrochromic layer of the strip dissolves. That’s a signal to the user to remove the strip along with its protective film and insert it into the smart band, which wirelessly transfers the collected data to the user’s mobile device through Bluetooth.

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The researchers conducted a study to test the device, where 4 healthy participants used the device for one month while skipping rope. The device was found to be reliable to measure glucose. Its data closely corresponded with blood glucose measured with a commercially available glucometer.