Investigation of Sweat Biomarkers for Real-time Reporting of Infection and Inflammation Using Wearable Sweat Sensor


December 2021


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Inflammatory biomarkers are modulated due to an infection or inflammatory trigger. Cytokines are inflammatory biomarkers that orchestrate the manifestation and progression of an infection/inflammatory event. Hence, non-invasive, real-time monitoring of cytokines can be pivotal in assessing the progression of infection/inflammatory event. However, real-time monitoring of biomarkers is not feasible with the current technology as most of them rely on blood-based detection. Continuous monitoring of host immune markers in sweat can aid in realtime monitoring of the immune status. This dissertation demonstrates a wearable SWEATSENSER device that can track the levels of immune cytokine markers in real-time from passively expressed sweat. The developed device is of a watch form-factor that can be worn on the arm to reliably track the biomarker response from low volumes of sweat (~1 μL) and the biomarker levels can be monitored in real-time. The developed SWEATSENSER device was validated for reliably reporting the levels of several cytokines and chemokines. Additionally, this work presents a thorough validation on the presence of certain critical infection and inflammatory markers such as interferon-inducible protein (IP-10) and tumor necrosis factor- related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), C-reactive protein that make it feasible for using sweat as a biofluid for actively monitoring the health status. Additionally, human subject clinical studies demonstrate the feasibility of non-invasively tracking infections such as influenza from sweat. Such a wearable device can offer significant strides in improving prognosis and provide personalized therapeutic treatment for several inflammatory/infectious diseases.



Engineering, Biomedical