“Diabetes is a major problem worldwide,” said Chuchu Chen, the study’s first author, highlighting the transformative potential of 3D printing in healthcare. The newly developed one-step 3D printing process utilizes a single-atom catalyst and enzymatic reactions to enhance signal detection of low-level biomarkers.

Unlike blood, sweat provides a non-invasive method for health monitoring. Uric acid levels in sweat can indicate risks for gout, kidney disease, and heart disease, while glucose and lactate levels help monitor diabetes and exercise intensity.

Current sweat sensors are complex and require specialized equipment. The new device, however, uses tiny microfluidic channels, avoiding the contamination issues common with other methods.

The prototype, tested on volunteers, demonstrated accurate and reliable measurements. The researchers aim to improve the design, add more biomarkers, and commercialize the technology, supported by a provisional patent.

The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and the CDC. Washington State University’s Office of Commercialization is facilitating the technology’s protection and potential market entry.

By Impact Lab