This sports gadget extracts information from sweat

Sports on hot days generally results in soaked clothing and a sweaty body. You do not sweep, of course, because it is a way to get rid of heat and cool the body. A lot of information can also be obtained from sweat. Researchers at Stanford have developed a sensor that measures sweat. What can be seen?

Sweat sensor

The amount of cortisol in sweat can be measured with a kind of patch attached to a sensor. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and this is an indicator of sport performance and possible disease. Cortisol is a hormone that affects blood pressure, metabolism, immune system and memory.

When measuring cortisol in a lab, it often takes a few days until the result is within. The disadvantage of this is that the cortisol value may have already changed in the meantime. With the new sensor, the wait takes only a few seconds. The sensor is glued directly to the skin like a patch.

Cortisol measuring

Cortisol is difficult to measure with sensors because it has no positive or negative charge, as is the case with many other substances. The solution of a scientist for this is to make a stretchy sensor that only measures cortisol. Because the patch is glued directly to the skin, sweat comes into small holes at the bottom of the sensor. Certain substances come into the sensor, but if cortisol gets in the way, these other substances are blocked. For example, sports performance and health status can be measured.

Improving the sensor

The sensor is not yet working optimally, because the measurement is less effective if there is too little or too much sweat. Scientists are also looking for ways to produce a saliva sensor to measure cortisol. That way people do not have to work up a sweat if they want to measure their cortisol.

The sensor has not yet been completely made and more research is needed to make this system applicable. Yet it is promising, because the biggest step was to discover the level cortisol in sweat, with a sensor.


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