July 15, 2022
Skin-Interfaced Microfluidic System with Machine Learning-Enabled Image Processing of Sweat Biomarkers in Remote Settings
Advanced Materials Technologies
Dehydration has many deleterious effects on cognitive and physical performance as well as physiological function, in the context of sports, industrial work, clinical rehabilitation, and military applications. Here, an updated wearable microfluidic sweat testing system targeted for recreational athletes is presented that includes a microfluidic patch accommodating a broad range of sweating rates, and a smartphone app incorporating digital image processing algorithms to enable real-time analysis under different lighting conditions and patch orientations. Expansive field trials (n = 148 subjects) show significant correlations between the microfluidic patch and standard absorbent patch in measuring sweating rate and sweat chloride concentration during recreational exercise. This validation study demonstrates the applicability of the microfluidic patch and software platform for field testing in recreational athletes.
Nov 7, 2021
A Skin-Interfaced, Miniaturized Microfluidic Analysis and Delivery System for Colorimetric Measurements of Nutrients in Sweat and Supply of Vitamins Through the Skin
Nutrients play critical roles in maintaining core physiological functions and in preventing diseases. Technologies for delivering these nutrients and for monitoring their concentrations can help to ensure proper nutritional balance. Eccrine sweat is a potentially attractive class of biofluid for monitoring purposes due to the ability to capture sweat easily and noninvasively from nearly any region of the body using skin-integrated microfluidic technologies. Here, a miniaturized system of this type is presented that allows simple, rapid colorimetric assessments of the concentrations of multiple essential nutrients in sweat, simultaneously and without any supporting electronics – vitamin C, calcium, zinc, and iron. A transdermal patch integrated directly with the microfluidics supports passive, sustained delivery of these species to the body throughout a period of wear.
Aug 5, 2021
This perspective details recent progress in the development and translation of novel wearable sensors for personalized assessment of sweat dynamics and biomarkers, with precise sampling and real-time analysis. Sensor accuracy, system ruggedness, and large-scale deployment in remote environments represent key opportunity areas, enabling broad deployment in the context of field studies, clinical trials, and recent commercialization. On-body measurements in these contexts show good agreement compared to conventional laboratory-based sweat analysis approaches. These device demonstrations highlight the utility of biochemical sensing platforms for personalized assessment of performance, wellness, and health across a broad range of applications.
Mar 31, 2021
Science Translational Medicine
This month's cover feature of Science Translational Medicine highlights research done in partnership with Epicore and Northwestern University teams to improve diagnosis and management for cystic fibrosis. Here, we introduce a soft, epidermal microfluidic device (“sweat sticker”) designed for the simple and rapid collection and analysis of sweat. Intimate, conformal coupling with the skin supports nearly perfect efficiency in sweat collection without leakage. Real-time image analysis of chloride reagents allows for quantitative assessment of chloride concentrations using a smartphone camera, without requiring extraction of sweat or external analysis. Clinical validation studies involving patients with CF and healthy subjects, across a spectrum of age groups, support clinical equivalence compared to existing device platforms in terms of accuracy and demonstrate meaningful reductions in rates of leakage. The wearable microfluidic technologies and smartphone-based analytics reported here establish the foundation for diagnosis of CF outside of clinical settings.
Dec 11, 2020
Skin-interfaced microfluidic system with personalized sweating rate and sweat chloride analytics for sports science applications
Here, we introduce a skin-interfaced wearable microfluidic device and smartphone image processing platform that enable analysis of regional sweating rate and sweat chloride concentration ([Cl−]). Systematic studies (n = 312 athletes) establish significant correlations for regional sweating rate and sweat [Cl−] in a controlled environment and during competitive sports under varying environmental conditions.
Nov 10, 2020
Soft, skin-interfaced microfluidic systems with integrated immunoassays, fluorometric sensors, and impedance measurement capabilities
Skin-interfaced, wireless devices for clinical-grade monitoring of physiological parameters are of growing interest for uses that range from healthcare to sports performance. This paper, by researchers at Epicore Biosystems and Northwestern University, introduces a multifunctional skin-mounted microfluidic platform for capture and biomarker analysis of microliter volumes of sweat, a biofluid that can be collected noninvasively, with potential relevance in biophysical sensing.
Jul 13, 2020
Epicore Biosystems and Northwestern University report a biocompatible, sweat-activated battery technology that can be embedded within a soft, microfluidic platform. The battery can be used in a detachable electronic module that contains wireless communication and power management systems, and is capable of continuous on-skin recording of physiological signals. To illustrate the practical utility of our approach, we show, using human trials, that the sweat-activated batteries can operate hybrid microfluidic/ microelectronic systems that simultaneously monitor heart rate, sweat chloride and sweat pH.
Jun 16, 2020
Rapid Capture and Extraction of Sweat for Regional Rate and Cytokine Composition Analysis Using a Wearable Soft Microfluidic System
Journal of Investigative Dermatology
This Letter to the Editor highlights a study employing Epicore Biosystems's Discovery patch, a soft, skin-interfaced microfluidic patch in development, to enable rapid capture and extraction of sweat volumes for the analysis of cytokines. This initial study highlighted in JID was completed in June 2019 in collaboration with Northwestern University dermatologists to establish baseline data using the Discovery platform and to test its clinical utility. Patches were skin mounted on 10 healthy individuals to collect sweat when individuals were exposed to heat in a controlled environment. Concentrations of three cytokines – IL-1α, IL-1RA, and IL-8 – were assessed twice a day and on consecutive days. The team demonstrated the ability to quantify the concentrations of target inflammation biomarkers in sweat across different skin locations.
Feb 12, 2020
Wearable sensors might soon provide dermatologists and patients with unprecedented real-time information about skin health. One such device in development, Epicore Biosystems’ wearable Discovery patch (Leo Pharma and Epicore Biosystems), aims to assess inflammatory biomarkers found in sweat and interstitial fluid in individuals with atopic dermatitis. The wearable technology will analyze cytokines in sweat to offer real-time objective assessment of the state of disease in adults with the chronic skin condition.
Skin-Interfaced Microfluidic System with Machine Learning-Enabled Image Processing of Sweat Biomarkers in Remote Settings Advanced Materials Technologies (2022)
Soft, skin-interfaced sweat stickers for cystic fibrosis diagnosis and management Science Translational Medicine (2021)
Rapid Capture and Extraction of Sweat for Regional Rate and Cytokine Composition Analysis Using a Wearable Soft Microfluidic System Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2021)
Sweat-activated biocompatible batteries for epidermal electronic and microfluidic systems Nature Electronics (2020)
Can mHealth Technology Help Mitigate the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic? IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology (2020)
Don’t Sweat It: The Quest for Wearable Stress Sensors Matter (2020)
Human motion component and envelope characterization via wireless wearable sensors BMC Biomedical Engineering (2020)
Wearable Sensors for Biochemical Sweat Analysis Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry (2019)
Counting Bites With Bits: Expert Workshop Addressing Calorie and Macronutrient Intake Monitoring Journal of Medical Internet Research (2019)
Soft, skin-interfaced wearable systems for sports science and analytics Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering (2019)
Bio-Integrated Wearable Systems: A Comprehensive Review American Chemical Society (2019)
Skin-interfaced systems for sweat collection and analytics Science Advances (2018)
A soft, wearable microfluidic device for the capture, storage, and colorimetric sensing of sweat Science Translational Medicine (2016)