According to many experts, early diagnosis and management are critical for slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, the race is on to develop diagnostic tests for the virus that are faster, easier and more accurate than existing ones. Now, resea ... more
Biosensor 'bandage' collects and analyzes sweat
Like other biofluids, sweat contains a wealth of information about what's going on inside the body. However, collecting the fluid for analysis, usually by dripping or absorbing it from the skin's surface, can be time-consuming and messy. Now, researchers have developed a bandage-like biosensor that both collects and -- in conjunction with a smart phone -- analyzes sweat. The device, which could someday help diagnose diseases, is reported in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry.
Compared with other biofluids such as blood, sweat has the potential to be obtained less invasively for diagnostic testing. Researchers have developed tools to collect and analyze sweat, such as temporary tattoos or microfluidic devices, but they typically require wires, electronics or sophisticated structures. Tailin Xu, Li-Ping Xu, Xueji Zhang and colleagues wanted to make a wearable biosensor resembling a bandage that samples sweat and uses a simple color-changing assay to quantify various components.
To make their device, the researchers coated a flexible polyester film with a super-hydrophobic silica suspension. They then etched microwells into the silica layer to collect perspiration. At the bottom of the wells, they placed dyes that change color with pH or concentration of chloride, glucose or calcium. The team added an adhesive backing and attached the biosensor bandage onto a volunteer's skin. When the person exercised, their perspiration collected in the microwells, and the spots changed colors. By imaging and analyzing the colors with a cell phone, the researchers determined that the sweat pH was 6.5-7.0, with a chloride concentration of about 100 mM and trace amounts of calcium and glucose. The researchers are now working on increasing the sensitivity of the device.
Millions of people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, most using a kit that relies on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This sensitive method amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that tiny amounts of the virus can be detected. However, as the pandemic surges, this labo ... more
After a day hiking in the forest, the last thing a person wants to discover is a tick burrowing into their skin. Days after plucking off the bloodsucking insect, the hiker might develop a rash resembling a bull's-eye, a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease. Yet not everybody who contracts Lyme di ... more
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- 2New COVID-19 test quickly and accurately detects viral RNA
- 3Diagnostic biosensor quickly detects SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swabs
- 4Researcher Develops One Minute Coronavirus Test
- 5The Higgs boson and superconductivity
- 6A new biosensor for the COVID-19 virus
- 7How cells recognize uninvited guests
- 8A Glimpse into Real-Time Methanol Synthesis
- 9Single-cell RNA seq method developed to accurately quantify cell-specific drug effects in pancreatic islets
- 10Real-time observation of enzymatic processes on DNA