Scientists Invent Wearable Sodium Sensor To Improve Blood Pressure Control

Posted: May 8 2018, 5:22am CDT | by , in Latest Science News

 

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Scientists Invent Wearable Sodium Sensor To Improve Blood Pressure Control
The intraoral electronics with a sodium sensor is based on a breathable elastomeric membrane that resembles a dental retainer. The ultrathin device is flexible and stretchable, and can wirelessly transmit data up to 10 meters. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

New in mouth wearable to fight the silent killer.

Georgia Tech scientists developed a contraption to measure salt intake. Eating too much salt raises blood pressure and increases the likelihood of heart complications. The flexible and stretchable wireless sensing system designed to be comfortably worn in the mouth to measure the amount of sodium a person consumes.

Based on an ultrathin, breathable elastomeric membrane, the sensor integrates with a miniaturized flexible electronic system that uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly report the sodium consumption to a smartphone or tablet. The researchers plan to further miniaturize the system, which now resembles a dental retainer eventually to the size of a tooth.

"We can unobtrusively and wirelessly measure the amount of sodium that people are taking in overtime," explained Woon-Hong Yeo, an assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "By monitoring sodium in real-time, the device could one day help people who need to restrict sodium intake learn to change their eating habits and diet."

Details of the device are reported May 7 in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the paper titled "Wireless, intraoral hybrid electronics for real-time quantification of sodium intake toward hypertension management".

According to the American Heart Association, Americans on average eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, far more than the limit of 1,500 milligrams per day it recommends. The association surveyed a thousand adults and found that "one-third couldn't estimate how much sodium they ate, and another 54 percent thought they were eating less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium a day."

Key to the development of the intraoral sensor was the replacement of traditional plastic and metal-based electronics with biocompatible and ultrathin components connected using mesh circuitry. Sodium sensors are available commercially, but Yeo and his collaborators developed a flexible micro-membrane version to be integrated with the miniaturized hybrid circuitry.

"The entire sensing and electronics package was conformally integrated onto a soft material that users can tolerate," Yeo explained. "The sensor is comfortable to wear, and data from it can be transmitted to a smartphone or tablet. Eventually, the information could go a doctor or other medical professional for remote monitoring."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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