University of Texas at Dallas bioengineers in collaboration with EnLiSense LLC have designed a wearable sensor that can detect two key biomarkers of infection in human sweat, a significant step toward making it possible for users to receive early warnings of infections such as COVID-19 and influenza.
The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science researchers’ study, published online March 3 in Advanced Materials Technologies, demonstrates that the sweat sensor can identify the biomarkers interferon-gamma-inducible protein (IP-10) and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Elevated levels of IP-10 and TRAIL indicate what is known as a cytokine storm, a surge of pro-inflammatory immune proteins generated in the most serious infections.
“Our work is pioneering since, until this date, it was unclear whether these molecules were present in sweat,” said Dr. Shalini Prasad, head of bioengineering and the Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science. “We established that our low-volume passive sweat technology is indeed able to measure these biomarkers.”