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May 13, 2020 Wednesday 02:55:45 PM IST

Sweat Powered E-Skin Biosensor

Science Innovations

An electronic skin which acts as a bio-sensor was developed by California Institute of Technology (Caltech). It is capable of capturing information such as heart rate, body temperature, levels of blood sugar and metabolic by-products that are indicators of health, and even the nerve signals that control our muscles. It is made of soft, flexible rubber which is embedded with sensors. It is powered by our sweat and doesn't require battery. Human sweat contains very high amounts of the chemical lactate, generated usually by muscles during exercise. The fuel cells built into the e-skin absorb that lactate and combine it with oxygen from the atmosphere, generating water and pyruvate, another by-product of metabolism. Apart from being a bio-sensor, the vital signs and molecular information collected using this platform could be used to design and optimize next-generation prosthetics, according to Wei Gao, Assistant Professor at Caltech.