Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley are currently developing wearable skin sensors that can detect what’s in your sweat. The sensors are designed to monitor sweat rate, electrolytes, and metabolites in the sweat. These sensors contain a spiraling microscopic tube that wicks sweat from the skin and can measure the sweat rate based on how fast it moves through this microscopic tube. Inside the microscopic tube, there are chemical sensors that can detect concentrations of potassium, lactate, sodium, and glucose.
These sensors are manufactured using roll-to-roll processing technique similar to screen printing. This process allows high volume production at a low cost.
For now, athletes will have the greatest benefits from these new sensors since they can indicate overall liquid loss during there workout. This will help the athletes know if they are pushing themselves too hard. There had been high hopes that the sensors could replace blood-based measurements for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes. Unfortunately, the scientists found that there isn’t a simple, universal correlation between sweat and blood glucose levels.