Stanford researchers develop a wearable device to measure stress

wearable device to measure stress

Stanford researchers develop a wearable device to measure stress

A new wearable biosensor, developed by the Salleo lab at Stanford, measures the amount of cortisol in a person’s sweat. Cortisol influences stress, blood pressure, metabolism and immune response.

Stanford researchers have come up with a wearable device that will be used to measure stress. The device will collect sweat from the skin and assess the cortisol being produced by the person. They have discovered that measuring cortisol provides the gauge of physical and emotional stress one has where the doctor will be able to tell if the pituitary or adrenal of a person is working fine. Mostly, the cortisol hormone rises and fall during the day as it responds to stress.

The device has been developed by Salleo Research Group at Standford, to measure stress levels. It can also be used to measure everything caused by emotional stress, metabolism, and immune function. Our perspiration is said to contain valuable information when it comes to the well being of the body and this is the reason researchers are trying to come up with different devices that can measure sweat for different diseases. The device is flexible and stretchy and it is mostly referred to as MS-OECT and have sensors for human sweat. The sensor is able to allow other substances found in sweat to pass through the membrane and remain with cortisol only.

The doctors will not only use cortisol to measure sweat but give the overall results about the patients well being. The device has been tested on a number of patients through the ELISA method and has been found the right colouration.

“We are particularly interested in sweat sensing because it offers non-invasive and continuous monitoring of various biomarkers for a range of physiological conditions,” Onur Parlak, a post-doctoral scholar in the Salleo lab and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. “This offers a novel approach for the early detection of various diseases and evaluation of sports performance.”

“Stress plays an important role in the overall health of a patient; when under stress, the adrenal gland releases cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream,” authors of the paper wrote.

Increased levels of cortisol have a detrimental effect on the regulation of various physiological processes such as blood pressure, glucose levels, and carbohydrate metabolism, and sustained stress can disrupt homeostasis in the cardiovascular, immune, renal, skeletal, and endocrine systems, leading to the development of chronic diseases. Therefore, continuous monitoring of cortisol levels in bodily fluids has great relevance in maintaining healthy physiological conditions.

“In summary, we have demonstrated the integration of an artificial receptor as a biomimetic polymeric membrane for stable and selective molecular recognition using OECTs to produce a wearable sweat diagnostics platform for real-time analysis of the human stress hormone cortisol,” researchers wrote.

This device will work in helping patients to know their stress levels through sweat in a much simpler way where they can take action according to how the cortisol level is.

Cortisol is known to have effects on the body and can tamper with blood pressure, glucose levels and carbohydrate metabolism. If it is well maintained and controlled, patients suffering from chronic diseases would really decrease.

Image credit: www.pixabay.de

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