A wearable device that monitors compounds in your sweat for up to a week could help in the early detection of diabetes, according to the University of Texas, USA, research team.
The wearable device, pictured above, can detect cortisol, glucose and interleukin-6 – interconnected compounds linked to diabetes – in perspired sweat. ‘If a person has chronic stress, their cortisol levels increase, and their resulting insulin resistance will gradually drive their glucose levels out of the normal range. At that point, one could become pre-diabetic, which can progress to type 2 diabetes,’ said Dr Shalini Prasad, Professor of Bioengineering.
Not only is the Texas team’s device functional for one week without loss of signal integrity, it requires a far smaller degree of sweat – one to three microlitres, rather than 25 to 50 – to be effective. Prasad said, ‘We spent three years producing that evidence. At those low volumes, the biomolecules expressed are meaningful. We can do these three measurements in a continuous manner with that little sweat.’