When you have to sweat for a medical reason, you don’t have to go for a run, stay on a treadmill, or sit through a sauna. That can be a torture. Sam Emaminejad has a better idea: just sit still and wear the wearable sensor he created.
An assistant professor of electrical engineering at UCLA for almost a year now, Emaminejad developed the biosensor which can be used in the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, diabetes and other diseases by measuring molecules present in an individual’s sweat. He did it with his colleagues while he was a joint postdoctoral researcher at Stanford Medicine and UC Berkeley.
Source: Sam Emaminejad
Essentially, the biosensor’s job is to activate your sweat at the skin’s surface and monitor in real time important biomarkers for patients. It is the first time that a wearable, non-invasive sensor has achieved this.
In an interview with a UCLA Engineering writer, Emaminejad said, “In other words, [patients] don’t have to work up a sweat, or feel discomfort to get at this valuable source of physiological information. This is an unprecedented opportunity, because now a previously inaccessible source of information has been made available for real-time monitoring.”
Physiological information and biomarkers can be taken from sweat such as metabolites, electrolytes, and proteins to track a person’s health status. What better way can sweat be extracted and monitored than this wearable?
“Sweat-based monitoring has a huge potential to facilitate non-invasive and continuous monitoring of individuals in a wearable format, such as a smartwatch,” he said.
He added that for robust analysis, one needs to sweat so much, but that can only be accessed unless the person gets to exercise or go inside a sauna.
Emaminejad does not plan to stop at this kind of wearables. Now that the UCLA has the Interconnected and Integrated Bioelectronics Lab recently established, he hopes that this could be the platform for more discoveries in integrated and interconnected mobile, wearable and in-vivo health monitoring.