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A Wearable Microfluidic Sensing Patch for Dynamic Sweat Secretion Analysis


Wearable sweat sensing is a rapidly rising research area driven by its promising potential in health, fitness, and diagnostic applications. Despite the growth in the field, major challenges in relation to sweat metrics remain to be addressed. These challenges include sweat rate monitoring for its complex relation with sweat compositions and sweat sampling for sweat dynamics studies. In this work, we present a flexible microfluidic sweat sensing patch that enhances real-time electrochemical sensing and sweat rate analysis via sweat sampling. The device contains a spiral-patterned microfluidic component that is embedded with ion-selective sensors and an electrical impedance-based sweat rate sensor on a flexible plastic substrate. The patch is enabled to autonomously perform sweat analysis by interfacing the sensing component with a printed circuit board that is capable of on-site signal conditioning, analysis, and transmission. Progressive sweat flow in the microfluidic device, governed by the pressure induced by the secreted sweat, enhances sweat sampling and electrochemical detection via a defined sweat collection chamber and a directed sweat route. The characteristic of the sweat rate sensor is validated through a theoretical simulation, and the precision and accuracy of the flow rate is verified with a commercial syringe pump and a Macroduct sweat collector. On-body simultaneous monitoring of ion (H+, Na+, K+, Cl-) concentration and sweat rate is also demonstrated for sensor functionality. This sweat sensing patch provides an integrated platform for a comprehensive sweat secretion analysis and facilitates physiological and clinical investigations by closely monitoring interrelated sweat parameters.

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