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What Your Sweat Shows About Your Health


Perspiration serves mainly to refresh the body, therefore to maintain it at an ideal temperature, between 36.5 and 37.8°C, when it heats up too much. It is composed of 99% water plus a whole series of molecules and salt which gives it its salty taste. This is a natural phenomenon since on average a human being loses between 0.5 and one liter of sweat per day. And the latter could well help doctors provide new information on the state of health of each, according to researchers from Simon Fraser University (Canada) who are working on a detection technology under development, described in the journal scientist “Bio-Design and Manufacturing”.

In concrete terms, this involves developing a wearable sweat sensor 3D printed, so low cost. “Innovation in technology design over the past decade has seen the rapid development of wearable sensors, including sweat sensors. These wearable sensors can assess health of an individual by analyzing the chemicals and other health information contained in sweat. “, explain the researchers. Unlike the collection and testing of other biofluids such as saliva or blood,he method requires no outside assistance. The data collected can notably play a role in the evaluation of stress and the quality of nutrition.

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A fast, simple and non-invasive method

But not only: sweat sensors can monitor real-time biochemical information during exercise, including ion or lactate levels, which can serve as indicators of hydration and overall physiological and psychological well-being. ” The chemical composition and the physical information derived from sweat is of great value in terms of reflecting human health status. “, underlines Professor Woo Soo Kim, main author of the study. He adds: “the direct collection of sweat at the skin surface is a simple and easy-to-execute method that avoids privacy issues during physical implementation. »

So many perks that make sweat a bodily fluid to be collected easily, frequently and non-invasively. If there are already lines of low-cost wearable sensors that can collect and analyze sweat to assess health of a person, the 3D printable model of these researchers has the particularity of integrating flexible electrochemical sensors and a functionality for sharing information wirelessly. The final idea will be to be able to fix them directly on the skin using a flexible material such as foam, fabric, flexible plastics or rubber and ideally being able to power them through a wireless charging system.

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“Metabolites (organic compounds resulting from metabolism) sweat can provide important information that can be used effectively to assess the overall health of the wearer. concludes Professor Woo Soo Kim. The scientific team warns, however, that further research is still needed to verify the correct correlation between a person’s biological information from sweat and those from the blood, and to more broadly validate this new information system.

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