Lactate is a major oxidative stress biomarker in the body, which is crucial for monitoring oxygen levels in athletes, humans undergoing physical exercise and exertion, and military personnel. The determination of lactate in sweat is key since it is present during the sweat generation metabolic process. However, most of the current wearable sweat sensing devices measuring lactate are either invasive in nature (iontophoretic extraction) or are only functional with visible sweat, released via physical exertion (active sweating).
The team of ASSIST researchers led by Velev and Dickey is developing a wearable assay platform that is able to withdraw sweat and measure lactate both under passive and active sweating. The prototype is built of silicone elastomer, with embedded soft materials such as hydrogels and paper channels for continuous fluid extraction and transport. The patent-pending ASSIST sweat patches represent a non-invasive and long-term monitoring platform, that can be an integral part of the next generation of wearable technologies.