Thread-based multiplexed sensor patch for real-time sweat monitoring

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Abstract

Sensor platforms that exploit the fibrous textile threads as substrates offer great promise since they can be directly sewn, woven or stitched on to any clothing. They can also be placed directly in intimate contact with the skin. In this work, we present a thread-based sensing platform in the form of a multiplexed sensing patch for continuous simultaneous on-skin monitoring of sweat. The patch performs real-time, on-body measurements of important biomarkers present in sweat such as electrolytes (sodium and ammonium ions), metabolites (lactate) and acidity (pH). Flexible threads coated with conductive inks were used as sensing electrodes. Selective potentiometric detection of electrolytes and pH was made possible through ion-selective membrane deposition and pH-sensitive polyaniline coating on threads, respectively. An amperometric enzymatic sensing scheme with lactate oxidase was used for the detection of lactate. An array of the thread sensors is integrated onto a patch with connectivity to a miniaturized circuit module containing a potentiostat, microprocessor and wireless circuitry for wireless smartphone readout. Extensive in vitro validation and an in vivo human pilot study involving a maximal exertion test show the promise of this platform for real-time physiological monitoring of human performance/fitness under stress, as well as diagnostic monitoring through sweat analysis.

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Terse-Thakoor, T., Punjiya, M., Matharu, Z., Lyu, B., Ahmad, M., Giles, G. E., … Sonkusale, S. (2020). Thread-based multiplexed sensor patch for real-time sweat monitoring. Npj Flexible Electronics, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41528-020-00081-w

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