UCLA develops a double sided adhesive film to monitor a smartwatch user's body chemistry

Service Engineering

A thin adhesive film that monitors a user’s body chemistry, developed by engineers at UCLA, is set to make smartwatches a lot more intelligent. The system identifies chemical indicators found in sweat to give a real-time indication of what’s occurring inside the user’s body – with a study detailing the technology published in Science Advances.

Smartwatches are intelligent enough to monitor a lot of data; however, they can’t monitor the body’s chemistry because they need to track biomarker molecules found in bodily fluids that are highly specific indicators of health, including lactate and glucose, which indicate how well the body’s metabolism is operating. With this in consideration, the researchers engineered a double-sided, disposable film, that can detect molecules such as individual nutrients and metabolites, that attaches to the underside of a smartwatch. Furthermore, they also developed a custom smartwatch and an app to record the data.

“UCLA develops a double sided adhesive film to monitor a smartwatch user's body chemistry.“

Study leader and an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, Sam Emaminejad, stated: “The inspiration for this work came from recognising that we already have more than one-hundred million smartwatches and other wearable tech sold worldwide that have powerful data-collection, computation and transmission capabilities. Now we have come up with a solution to upgrade these wearables into health-monitoring platforms, enabling them to measure molecular-level information so that they give us a much deeper understanding of what’s happening inside our body in real time.”

Yichao Zhao stated:“By making our sensors on a double-sided adhesive and vertically conductive film, we eliminated the need for the external connectors. In this way, not only have we made it easier to integrate sensors with consumer electronics, but we’ve also eliminated the effect of a user’s motion that can interfere with the chemical data collection.”

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