Publication Details

Pirovano, P., Dorrian, M., Shinde, A., Donohoe, A., Brady, A., Moyna, N., Wallace, G., Diamond, D. & McCaul, M. (2020). A wearable sensor for the detection of sodium and potassium in human sweat during exercise. Talanta, 219


© 2020 The Author(s) The SwEatch platform, a wearable sensor for sampling and measuring the concentration of electrolytes in human sweat in real time, has been improved in order to allow the sensing of two analytes. The solid contact ion-sensitive electrodes (ISEs) for the detection of Na+ and K+ have been developed in two alternative formulations, containing either poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) or poly(3-octylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (POT) as a conductive polymer transducing component. The solution-processable POT formulation simplifies the fabrication process, and sensor to sensor reproducibility has been improved via partial automation using an Opentron® automated pipetting robot. The resulting electrodes showed good sensitivity (52.4 ± 6.3 mV/decade (PEDOT) and 56.4 ± 2.2 mV/decade (POT) for Na+ ISEs, and 45.7 ± 7.4 mV/decade (PEDOT) and 54.3 ± 1.5 mV/decade (POT) for K+) and excellent selectivity towards potential interferents present in human sweat (H+, Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+). The 3D printed SwEatch platform has been redesigned to incorporate a double, mirrored fluidic unit which is capable of drawing sweat from the skin through passive capillary action and bring it in contact with two independent electrodes. The potentiometric signal generated by the electrodes is measured by an integrated electronics board, digitised and transmitted via Bluetooth to a laptop. The results obtained from on-body trials on athletes during cycling show a relatively small increase in sodium (1.89 mM–2.97 mM) and potassium (3.31 mM–7.25 mM) concentrations during the exercise period of up to 90 min.



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