Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Adhesive film turns smartwatch into biochemical health monitoring system

18.06.2020

UCLA engineers have designed a thin adhesive film that could upgrade a consumer smartwatch into a powerful health-monitoring system. The system looks for chemical indicators found in sweat to give a real-time snapshot of what's happening inside the body. A study detailing the technology was published in the journal of Science Advances.

Smartwatches can already help keep track of how far you've walked, how much you've slept and your heart rate. Newer models even promise to monitor blood pressure.


The underside of this custom-built smartwatch contains a double-sided adhesive that can detect metabolites and nutrients present in body sweat.

Credit: Yichao Zhao/UCLA

Working with a tethered smartphone or other devices, someone can use a smartwatch to keep track of those health indicators over a long period of time.

What these watches can't do, yet, is monitor your body chemistry. For that, they need to track biomarker molecules found in body fluids that are highly specific indicators of our health, such as glucose and lactate, which tell how well your body's metabolism is working.

To address that need, the researchers engineered a disposable, double-sided film that attaches to the underside of a smartwatch. The film can detect molecules such as metabolites and certain nutrients that are present in body sweat in very tiny amounts. They also built a custom smartwatch and an accompanying app to record data.

"The inspiration for this work came from recognizing that we already have more than 100 million smartwatches and other wearable tech sold worldwide that have powerful data-collection, computation and transmission capabilities," said study leader Sam Emaminejad, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering.

"Now we have come up with a solution to upgrade these wearables into health-monitoring platforms, enabling them to measure molecular-level information so that they give us a much deeper understanding of what's happening inside our body in real time."

The skin-touching side of the adhesive film collects and analyzes the chemical makeup of droplets of sweat. The watch-facing side turns those chemical signals into electrical ones that can be read, processed and then displayed on the smartwatch.

The co-lead authors on the paper are graduate student Yichao Zhao and postdoctoral scholar Bo Wang. Both are members of Emaminejad's Interconnected and Integrated Bioelectronics Lab at UCLA.

"By making our sensors on a double-sided adhesive and vertically conductive film, we eliminated the need for the external connectors," Zhao said. "In this way, not only have we made it easier to integrate sensors with consumer electronics, but we've also eliminated the effect of a user's motion that can interfere with the chemical data collection."

"By incorporating appropriate enzymatic-sensing layers in the film, we specifically targeted glucose and lactate, which indicate body metabolism levels, and nutrients such as choline," Wang said.

While the team designed a custom smartwatch and app to work with the system, Wang said the concept could someday be applied to popular models of smartwatches.

The researchers tested the film on someone who was sedentary, someone doing office work and people engaged in vigorous activity, such as boxing, and found the system was effective in a wide variety of scenarios. They also noted that the stickiness of the film was sufficient for it to stay on the skin and on the watch without the need for a wrist strap for an entire day.

Over the past few years, Emaminejad has led research on using wearable technology to detect indicator molecules through sweat. This latest study shows a new way that such technologies could be widely adopted.

"We are particularly excited about our technology because by transforming our smartwatches and wearable tech into biomonitoring platforms, we could capture multidimensional, longitudinal and physiologically relevant datasets at an unprecedented scale, basically across hundreds of millions of people," Emaminejad said. "This thin sensing film that works with a watch shows such a path forward."

###

The other authors, all from Emaminejad's lab, are Hannaneh Hojaiji, Zhaoqing Wang, Shuyu Lin, Christopher Yeung, Haisong Lin, Peterson Nguyen, Kaili Chiu, Kamyar Salahi, Xuanbing Cheng, Jiawei Tan and Betto Alcitlali Cerrillos.

At UCLA, staff members at the Center for Minimally Invasive Therapeutics, the Nanoelectronics Research Facility and UCLA Library's Lux Lab contributed to building the devices.

Components of the study were supported by the National Science Foundation; the Henry M. Jackson Foundation; a Stanford Genome Technology Center Distinguished Young Investigator Award (with Intermountain Healthcare); the Brain and Behavior Foundation, through its NARSAD Young Investigator Grant; and the PhRMA Foundation.

UCLA has applied for a patent on the technology.

Media Contact

Christine Wei-li Lee
clee@seas.ucla.edu
310-206-0540

 @uclanewsroom

http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu 

Christine Wei-li Lee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz0007

Further reports about: Metabolism monitoring system nutrients smartwatch

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Lighting array in the ear: First use of multi-channel cochlear implants with microscale light-emitting diodes
06.07.2020 | Universitätsmedizin Göttingen - Georg-August-Universität

nachricht Artificial intelligence identifies, locates seizures in real-time
30.06.2020 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nutrients in microalgae: an environmentally friendly alternative to fish

07.07.2020 | Health and Medicine

Mobile measuring instruments: Caught in flight

07.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Exploring Rapid Changes in the Arctic Ecosystem

07.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>