A new microfluidic sensor measures lactate concentration during exercise

Researchers at the University of Tokyo Sciences have created a new wearable microfluidic sensor that can measure lactate concentration in sweat in real time. Lactate is a compound found in sweat and is an important biomarker used to measure exercise. The wearable sensors provided are usually solid devices that can cause skin irritation.

Wearable The sensor It was developed by researchers and is soft and non-irritating, making it ideal for real-time measurement of lactate concentration and sweat. Lactate is produced during the breakdown of glucose in the absence of oxygen and tissues. It is a biomarker found in blood and sweat, which reflects the intensity of physical exercise and muscle oxygenation.

Lactate accumulation can cause pain and fatigue and is released into the bloodstream to be eliminated through sweat. To develop the sensor, the team focused on the sensor mechanism they would deploy inside the sensor. While most lactic biosensors use lactate oxidase and a suitable medium on the electrode, the system the researchers developed took a different path. Scientists use a method called electron beam-induced graft polymerization.

In this process, the functional molecules bind to a carbonaceous substance that can bind to the enzyme automatically. The material was converted into a liquid ink used to print the electrodes, which is an important aspect of the product’s potential commercial marketing in the future. Researchers on the project say that manufacturing their sensor is compatible with screen printing for mass production.

To collect sweat and deliver it to the sensor, the team used a microfluidic sweat collection system made of polydimethylsiloxane. This method was chosen because it is soft and non-irritating, which allows it to directly contact the skin. Monitoring lactate threshold can help improve sports training and exercise routines for people in rehab.

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