“Lab On The Skin” Monitors Multiple Biomarkers

UCSD researchers develop a device with microneedles that sense multiple biomolecules in interstitial fluid.


New research from UC San Diego’s Center For Wearable Sensors, “An integrated wearable microneedle array for the continuous monitoring of multiple biomarkers in interstitial fluid.”

Current continuous glucose monitors on the market like Dexcom only measure glucose. This device also monitors alcohol and lactate. “With our wearable, people can see the interplay between their glucose spikes or dips with their diet, exercise and drinking of alcoholic beverages. That could add to their quality of life as well,” said Farshad Tehrani,one of the co-first authors of the study.


“Implementations of wearable microneedle-based arrays of sensors for the monitoring of multiple biomarkers in interstitial fluid have lacked system integration and evidence of robust analytical performance. Here we report the development and testing of a fully integrated wearable array of microneedles for the wireless and continuous real-time sensing of two metabolites (lactate and glucose, or alcohol and glucose) in the interstitial fluid of volunteers performing common daily activities. The device works with a custom smartphone app for data capture and visualization, comprises reusable electronics and a disposable microneedle array, and is optimized for system integration, cost-effective fabrication via advanced micromachining, easier assembly, biocompatibility, pain-free skin penetration and enhanced sensitivity. Single-analyte and dual-analyte measurements correlated well with the corresponding gold-standard measurements in blood or breath. Further validation of the technology in large populations with concurrent validation of sensor readouts through centralized laboratory tests should determine the robustness and utility of real-time simultaneous monitoring of several biomarkers in interstitial fluid.”

Find the technical paper here and the UCSD news release here.

Tehrani, F., Teymourian, H., Wuerstle, B. et al. An integrated wearable microneedle array for the continuous monitoring of multiple biomarkers in interstitial fluid. Nat. Biomed. Eng (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-022-00887-1

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