The secretion of sweat during exercise is not just an indicator of a good workout, but it also provides valuable information about our overall health. This includes revealing clues about dehydration, fatigue, blood sugar levels, as well as serious conditions like diabetes, heart failure, and cystic fibrosis. To enhance the potential of wearable sweat sensors, researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering have developed a 3D-printed sweat sensor called the “sweatainer.”

The sweatainer is a compact and portable device that collects and analyzes sweat, offering new possibilities for health monitoring. By incorporating various sensors, the sweatainer can analyze sweat in a way similar to other wearable sweat-sensing systems. The 3D-printing technology allows for the creation of intricate designs, providing an innovative and cost-effective way to prototype advanced wearable sweat devices.

Compared to traditional methods of sweat collection that require absorbent pads or microbore tubes, the sweatainer’s “multi-draw” sweat collection method is more efficient and offers the ability to collect multiple, separate sweat samples for analysis either directly on the device or sent to a lab. This advancement not only simplifies sweat collection but also offers new opportunities for at-home testing, sample storage, and integration with existing health monitoring methods.

Real-world studies of the sweatainer system demonstrate the significant potential of this groundbreaking technology. Through the use of 3D-printing, the researchers hope to continue driving innovation to create a future where personal health monitoring is more accessible, convenient, and insightful.

By Impact Lab