A new innovative sensor has found a way to measure sweat from swimmers under water. The technology is a breakthrough for swimmers as it was difficult earlier to capture sweat on the inside, while keeping the water out. The sensor captures various different components of body sweat or also temperature.
Sweat measurement is essential for professional swimmers. Swimming sports teams collect sweat to evaluate performance. Companies invested in the sport market sweat replacement drinks and sweat-removing clothing. These channels were earlier available to cyclists, swimmers; however swimmers were limited to a corner by the lack of insight.
A Breakthrough made possible by multiple small innovations
Researchers from Northwestern University have finally broken the glass ceiling for swimmers. They have built a small, flexible and wireless sensor which can be attached to a swimmer’s skin. The sensor then picks up sweat secretions from the skin and mixes it with a chemical reagent.
The chemical reagent is mixed with food dye, with the help of a colored patch. The patch changes color resembling to the athletes chloride levels. The process works much like a pH strip and keeps two liquids (water and sweat) apart effectively.
The research was first published in the journal Science Advances.
The Northwestern researchers deployed a multi-layer polymer material to collect sweat. On top of the Polymer material, they places tiny micro-channels. They also used SIS or polustyrene-isoprene-styrene, a more impermeable material.
John Rogers, an author of the paper has also worked on similar devices for measure skin pH levels. Earlier, he built a device to measure other bodily fluids which could help individuals determine the best type of makeup or sunscreen to apply.
According to Roger, this device would suitable for testing hydration levels of newborns and elderly patients as well.