This smart flexible wearable sensor could monitor your alcohol levels

Wang Lab
This smart flexible wearable sensor could monitor your alcohol levels

A new flexible wearable sensor will be able to monitor exactly how much a person is drinking. It’s flexible patch can detect a person’s blood-alcohol level through their sweat.

The electronic skin patch can even message your doctor and police if the wearer drinks too much.

As reported in the journal ACS Sensors, the monitor works quickly and can send results wirelessly to a smartphone or such devices.

Recent research demonstrated that sweat can be a more reliable real-time indicator of blood alcohol content.

It stated that users have to wait up to 2 hours for results from the two transdermal sensors in measuring alcohol levels from the users sweat.

Flexible wearable sensor can be worn on the arm to detect alcohol level. Credit: UC San Diego

Joseph Wang, together with Patrick Mercier and colleagues at the University of California had set out to make a more of its practical version.

“Lots of accidents on the road are caused by drunk driving. This technology provides an accurate, convenient and quick way to monitor alcohol consumption to help prevent people from driving while intoxicated,” Wang said.

“The device could be integrated with a car’s alcohol ignition interlocks, or friends could use it to check up on each other before handing over the car keys,” he added.

The researchers, with temporary-tattoo paper developed a patch that could tests blood alcohol content in a non-invasive way in three rapid steps.

The alcohol sensor consists of a temporary tattoo (left) developed by the Wang lab and a flexible printed electronic circuit board (right) developed by the Mercier lab. Credit: University of California – San Diego

Delivering a small amount of drug pilocarpine across the skin, it induces sweat. Then an enzymatic reaction leads to the electrochemical detection of the alcohol content and a flexible electronic circuit board transmits the data via Bluetooth connection to a laptop or mobile device.

The procedure take less than 8 minutes the whole process.

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