Researchers Look to Tattoos to Monitor Your Sweat

Now that watches and glasses are old school, researchers are creating a tattoo that monitors your sweat so it can tell if you are healthy.

A team at the University of California-San Diego are looking into sensors applied to the skin, much like a temporary tattoo. In the journal Analytical Chemistry, researchers explain these thin strips of adhesive can monitor an athlete’s chemical balance to gauge their physical activity.

The chemical they are specifically looking at is lactate. Lactate is a compound that generates when muscles are worked. The more lactate the body is producing, the more it releases in sweat. The technology is ideal for athletes or those in sports training and will help monitor the metabolic health of the wearer.

The tattoo monitors your sweat and then communicates the information is communicated to the trainers who can then study athletes in real time.

The way lactate levels are currently measured is through a blood sample. Not only is that invasive, it also requires frequent breaks from the workout in order to collect the sample.

Currently the project has turned into a commercialized company Electrozyme and is intended for use with athletes. The technology could be modified and used by the defense or even the general public.

Image: UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

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