2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
American engineers have created a prototype of a wireless sensor installed in the oral cavity that monitors the sodium concentration in the food consumed. The sensor is attached to the retainer and communicates via Bluetooth with the user's smartphone, transmitting the collected data to it, the developers say in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Sodium affects many processes in the human body, including the regulation of blood pressure. Increased sodium intake can lead to serious impairment of this function, for example, arterial hypertension - a constant increase in blood pressure. Studies show that the average sodium intake of a modern person is almost twice the level recommended by the World Health Organization. Despite the fact that there are prototypes of sensors that track the consumption of certain substances by measuring their concentration in the oral cavity, as a rule, they are quite large, have a rigid structure and have other disadvantages.
A team of engineers led by Woon-Hong Yeo of the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a prototype for an oral sodium consumption sensor. It consists of a polymer-metal substrate on which the electronics are fixed - an ion-selective sodium sensor, signal converters, a Bluetooth antenna and a battery, which allows the device to carry out continuous measurements for 12 hours. The developers built a copper microgrid into the polymer substrate, which helps to amplify the antenna's signal.
Photo of the sensor on the retainer and its diagram
To enable the device to be non-invasively attached to the mouth, engineers created a porous and biocompatible material retainer and attached the device to it. The researchers conducted several trials, some of which were conducted on volunteers. They drank water with a known concentration of sodium ions, and the sensor recorded the voltage changes caused by this and sent the data in real time to a smartphone with a special application. The authors showed that the device makes it possible to clearly distinguish on the voltage graph the intake of water with different concentrations. It's worth noting that this is an early prototype so far and cannot track total sodium intake per day.
Application interface for reading device data
Recently, American scientists presented a compact wireless sensor for salt, glucose, alcohol, and several other substances attached to the tooth. For its work, it uses an external transmitter that allows the device to measure and transmit data without having its own battery.