A textile-based platform for real-time sweat collection and analysis
Coyle, Shirley and Lau, King-Tong and Taccini, Nicola and Paradiso, Rita and Chuzel, Cyril and Diamond, Dermot (2009) A textile-based platform for real-time sweat collection and analysis. In: International Conference on Latest Advances in High-Tech Textiles and Textile-Based Materials, 23-25 September 2009, Ghent, Belgium.
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The ability to perform real-time chemical measurements of body fluids is an exciting concept for the healthcare sector and the sports industry. This work is part of the BIOTEX project, an EU FP6 project which involved the development of textile-based sensors to measure the chemical composition of sweat. This is a challenging task involving the collection of sweat samples, delivery to an active surface and the removal of waste products. A textile based platform which would be in immediate contact with the skin was developed for this purpose. The system uses capillary action and exhibits a passive pumping mechanism. This is achieved by using a combination of moisture wicking fabric and a highly absorbent material. A fabric channel is created for the integration of sensors. The channel is produced using a mask and screen-printing hydrophobic material onto the fabric. Different channel lengths and widths affect the flow rate of the system. The channel dimensions were designed based on typical sweat rates and also to accommodate sensor placement. A textile patch was developed and integrated into a waistband for collection of sweat on the lower back. Real-time measurements of sweat pH, sodium concentration, conductivity and temperature were measured during exercise using the textile patch.
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