NASA to measure anxiety levels in astronauts - graphene stress sensor

Service Engineering

NASA may be able to measure the anxiety levels of astronauts, thanks to a new graphene sensor that measures stress via cortisol in sweat.

The tool integrates a plastic laser-etched surface, which creates a graphene-made 3D structure with tiny pores, where sweat can be collected. Due to the pores, a notable amount of surface area is produced in the sensor, making it sensitive enough to identify substances that are already in the sweat but only in extremely little quantities. Also, the tiny pores are equipped with an antibody immune to cortisol, which enables the sensor to detect the compound.

“NASA may be able to measure the anxiety levels of astronauts, thanks to a new graphene sensor that measures stress via cortisol in sweat. “

Gao’s findings and the description of the sensor can be found in the journal ‘Matter’.

Wei Gao, the developer of the device and Caltech assistant professor of medical engineering, stated: “We aim to develop a wearable system that can collect multimodal data, including both vital sign and molecular biomarker information to obtain the accurate classification for deep space stress and anxiety. Our analysis time could be only a few minutes. Typically, a blood test takes at least 1 to two 2 and requires stress-inducing blood draw. For stress monitoring, time is very important. Depression patients have a different circadian pattern of cortisol than healthy individuals do. With PTSD patients, it’s another different one.”

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