Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Neonatal wearable device for colorimetry-based real-time detection of jaundice with simultaneous sensing of vitals

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Science Advances  03 Mar 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 10, eabe3793
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe3793

Abstract

Neonatal jaundice occurs in >80% of newborns in the first week of life owing to physiological hyperbilirubinemia. Severe hyperbilirubinemia could cause brain damage owing to its neurotoxicity, a state commonly known as kernicterus. Therefore, periodic bilirubin monitoring is essential to identify infants at-risk and to initiate treatment including phototherapy. However, devices for continuous measurements of bilirubin have not been developed yet. Here, we established a wearable transcutaneous bilirubinometer that also has oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate (HR) sensing functionalities. Clinical experiments with neonates demonstrated the possibility of simultaneous detection of bilirubin, SpO2, and HR. Moreover, our device could consistently measure bilirubin during phototherapy. These results demonstrate the potential for development of a combined treatment approach with an automatic link via the wearable bilirubinometer and phototherapy device for optimization of the treatment of neonatal jaundice.

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