Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Skin-interfaced microfluidic system with personalized sweating rate and sweat chloride analytics for sports science applications

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Science Advances  11 Dec 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 50, eabe3929
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe3929

Abstract

Advanced capabilities in noninvasive, in situ monitoring of sweating rate and sweat electrolyte losses could enable real-time personalized fluid-electrolyte intake recommendations. Established sweat analysis techniques using absorbent patches require post-collection harvesting and benchtop analysis of sweat and are thus impractical for ambulatory use. Here, we introduce a skin-interfaced wearable microfluidic device and smartphone image processing platform that enable analysis of regional sweating rate and sweat chloride concentration ([Cl]). Systematic studies (n = 312 athletes) establish significant correlations for regional sweating rate and sweat [Cl] in a controlled environment and during competitive sports under varying environmental conditions. The regional sweating rate and sweat [Cl] results serve as inputs to algorithms implemented on a smartphone software application that predicts whole-body sweating rate and sweat [Cl]. This low-cost wearable sensing approach could improve the accessibility of physiological insights available to sports scientists, practitioners, and athletes to inform hydration strategies in real-world ambulatory settings.

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