A mouth guard developed by a team at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) could be used to monitor patients continuously without invasive procedures.
UCSD professors Joseph Wang and Patrick Mercier used the mouth guard to monitor levels of uric acid in human saliva, and they report the technology detected four times as much in a patient suffering from hyperuricemia compared to healthy volunteers.
The mouth guard is designed to transmit its readings wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Wang's team created a screen-printed sensor using silver, Prussian blue ink, and uricase, an enzyme that reacts with uric acid. The reaction between acid and enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide, which can be detected by the Prussian blue ink. That data is then transmitted to an electronic board as electrical signals via metallic strips that are part of the sensor. The next step was to embed all of the electronics inside the mouth guard so it can be worn, and test it to make sure it is completely biocompatible.
Wang and Mercier, who head UCSD's Center for Wearable Sensors, also believe the technology offers an easy and reliable way to monitor the performance of athletes or the stress levels of soldiers and pilots.
From UCSD News (CA)
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