Low-cost wearable sweat analysis system

The CSIC has developed a low-cost system for analyzing sweat in real time. It has an ultra-compact format and can be integrated in wearable devices like smart-watches or patches. It enables the analysis in real-time of different sweat components and characteristics such as pH, glucose, lactate, and electrolytes.


Image of the project, picturing how the device could be implemented. Many scientific publications have found correlations of pH, glucose, lactate and some electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, with metabolic and physiological processes in the human body. However, so far, application to fields like fitness and health tracking have been limited because lack of reliable electrochemical-based sensors.

Scientists at the Microelectronics Institute of Barcelona (IMB-CNM) of the CSIC have developed a system based on a paper microfluidic structure that collects the sweat generated during exercise and carries it towards microsensors on silicon chips for its electrochemical analysis.

By analyzing the sweat components like glucose, pH and other ions, the system gives useful information for training programs as well as for the interpretation of warning signals during endurance exercise (e.g. dehydration levels or exhaustion).

The technology has the capability of monitoring sweat parameters for hours

The technology has the capability of monitoring these parameters for several hours, which makes it very suitable for metabolic and physiological monitoring of athletes.The team now is lloking for industrial partners.

It works with flows of sweat (a microliter per minute), which are available in an area of just 1 square centimeter during exercise. It removes sweat from the skin, so that ‘fresh’ sweat is not mixed with “old” sweat. It is ultra-compact and uses very low power consumption (in the range of microamperes). It is reusable, virtually infinite times, with the only requirement of replacing a small pad of reagents.


Isabel Gavilanes-Pérez, PhD.
Deputy Vice-Presidency for
Knowledge Transfer, CSIC.
Tel.: +34 – 93 594 77 00
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