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Self-powered diaper sensor that monitors urine sugar levels

Credit: Tokyo University of Science

Thanks to science and modern medicine, we know more about the early signs of a particular disease and which biomarkers to check. Most importantly, we have the equipment and technology needed to conveniently sample and analyze these biomarkers in the clinical setting so that doctors, patients and caregivers can act accordingly. In the ever-evolving field of healthcare technology, wearable electronics and biosensors are considered potential game changers because both medical staff and non-healthcare professionals can remotely monitor relevant physical variables.

Monitoring in certain cases of diabetes (a relatively common illness) Blood glucose level It is important. Fortunately, urine sugar levels provide indirect information about blood glucose levels and can be used as an alternative biomarker to avoid constant blood sampling. In addition, sensors can be implanted directly in diapers to measure urine sugar levels in the elderly and care patients. The diaper sensor can greatly simplify the work of monitoring diapers and health by transmitting the acquired data wirelessly. However, both sensors and wireless transmitters require an energy source to function, and putting a battery in a diaper can be a questionable solution from both an environmental and practical point of view.

Fortunately, Japanese scientists have come up with a solution to this problem.In a recent study published in ACS sensorAssociate Professor Isao Shimoda, Professor Masayuki Itagaki, and Yuki Fujimura of Tokyo University of Science (TUS) will introduce a promising approach to realize a self-powered diaper sensor that generates energy directly from urine. This work was done in collaboration with Associate Professor Seiya Tsujimura of the University of Tsukuba. Notably, this study is in line with other research efforts by Dr. Citanda and his colleagues to develop self-powered biosensors such as lactic acid sensors that are fully energized by sweat. That is.

But how does urine generate enough power to power the sensor? The answer lies in electrochemistry.Scientists have developed a paper base Biofuel cell It outputs electricity proportional to the amount of glucose in the urine through a pair of redox reactions. Important considerations in the design of such biofuel cells are the amount of urine needed to generate sufficient power and the overall stability and durability of the device. With this in mind, scientists have used an electrochemical cell using a process known as “graft polymerization” that allows glucose-reactive enzymes and mediator molecules to be firmly immobilized on the porous carbon layer. We have developed a special anode that is the negative terminal of. As a base conductive material.

Scientists have tested self-powered biosensors in diapers using artificial urine with varying glucose levels. They used the energy generated to power the Bluetooth Low Energy transmitter and remotely monitored the measured concentration using a smartphone. They found that biofuel cells could detect urine sugar in a very short time (within 1 second).

“In addition to monitoring glucose in diabetic situations, if you stock up on sugar as fuel in advance, you can use diaper sensors to remotely check for the presence of urine. In hospitals and long-term care facilities, hundreds You need to check your diaper. On a regular basis, the proposed device can remove a lot of weight from the caregiver’s shoulders, “commented Dr. Citanda.

In short, the sensors designed by Dr. Citanda’s team can not only prevent diabetes, but also make diaper management more efficient and responsive without harming the environment. “We believe that the concept developed in this study could be a very promising tool for the general development of self-powered wearable biosensors,” said Dr. Shitanda.


Do you have batteries? I’m not sweating!Wearable biofuel cells now generate electricity from lactic acid


For more information:
Shitanda Isao et al, a self-powered diaper sensor with a wireless transmitter powered by a paper-based biofuel cell that contains urine sugar as fuel. ACS sensor (2021). DOI: 10.1021 / acssensors.1c01266

Quote: Self-powered diaper sensors to monitor urine sugar levels (August 23, 2021) from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-08-self-powered-diaper-sensors-urine-sugar.html 2021 Acquired on August 23, 2014

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Self-powered diaper sensor that monitors urine sugar levels

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