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Diagnostics Technology and innovation, Laboratory management, Clinical care, Screening and monitoring, Biochemistry and molecular biology

Biomarkers, Sweat and Tears

An eight-hour fast, a pin prick, and a blood test. Standard procedure when testing for diabetes, but could the same diagnosis be made by wearing an epidermal patch instead? Researchers at Northwestern University are working towards making that a reality with their “lab on the skin” device which collects, stores, and analyzes sweat in real time (1). Why focus on sweat? John Rogers, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, explains, “Sweat is an interesting class of biofluidics because it can be captured noninvasively. We were looking to work on a simple type of device capable of performing in situ chemical analysis of sweat, as well as analyzing sweat rates and total sweat loss.” Importantly, sweat contains an array of biomarkers that can be vital indicators of health and physiological status. Could this approach present a feasible solution to invasive sampling and, importantly, a viable diagnostic option? That’s certainly the hope.

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About the Author

William Aryitey

My fascination with science, gaming, and writing led to my studying biology at university, while simultaneously working as an online games journalist. After university, I travelled across Europe, working on a novel and developing a game, before finding my way to Texere. As Associate Editor, I’m evolving my loves of science and writing, while continuing to pursue my passion for gaming and creative writing in a personal capacity.

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