An electrode made with a molded Tootsie Roll® and aluminum tubes can help monitor ovulation status and kidney health.
Credit: Adapted from ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c11306
Single-use diagnostic tests often aren’t practical for health professionals or patients in resource-limited areas, where cost and waste disposal are big concerns.
So, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have turned to a surprising material, Tootsie Roll® candy, to develop an inexpensive and low-waste device. The candy was used as an electrode, the part of the sensor that detects salt and electrolyte levels in saliva, to monitor ovulation status or kidney health.
Disposable test strips have advanced the speed and accuracy of at-home health monitoring. For example, ovulation predictor kits measure luteinizing hormone levels, and there are test strips that measure creatinine levels for patients with chronic kidney disease. However, their costs add up quickly and, between the packaging and the strips themselves, there’s a lot of waste that needs to be disposed of. Previous researchers have indicated that simple measurements of a person’s salivary salt and electrolyte content could be appropriate for managing some conditions.
So, Beelee Chua and Donghyun Lee wanted to repurpose unconventional and widely available materials, including electrically conductive soft candies, into an easily accessible, low-waste sensor that could simply be licked by patients to analyze their saliva.
To make the prototype sensor, the researchers first flattened a Tootsie Roll® and pressed crevices into its surface in a crosshatched pattern to hold the saliva sample. Then, they inserted two thin, reusable aluminum tubes, which acted as electrical contacts, connecting the candy electrode into a circuit with a current source and an output voltage detector. In preliminary tests, the device could measure salt levels that were physiologically relevant for health monitoring in a salt-water solution and artificial saliva.
For example, when covered in diluted artificial saliva, the sensor could reliably measure a change in voltage low enough to detect the 10-30% drop in salts that occurs when a person ovulates. While the maximum salt content in the artificial saliva samples was similar to that of a healthy adult, the researchers used calculations to estimate that conductivities three times higher, which signal a problem with the kidneys, would be within the measurable range of the device. Although testing with real human samples is still needed, the researchers say that using soft candy as electrodes opens up the possibility for low-waste, inexpensive electrochemical sensors and circuits in the future.
Original Article: Licking a Tootsie Roll® sensor to monitor health
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Satellite Earth Observation Market Size is projected to reach USD 7.88 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.87%: Straits Research
The global Satellite Earth Observation Market was valued USD 3.58 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach USD 7.88 billion by 2030, increasing at a CAGR of 6.87% from 2022 to 2030. North America has ...
- Marcia Heller: New Reusable COVID-19 Testing Device Could Be Game-Changer
I was contacted about the study via email from Aptitude Medical Systems, the Goleta company that has been administering COVID-19 tests to Santa Barbara City College students and faculty. Aptitude got ...
- These SUPER Clever Things Under $20 Are Taking The Internet By Storm
Well, that adjective can easily be applied to all the super clever things on this list, all of which are beloved by the internet and cost-effective, too. You’ll find clever, interesting upgrades for ...
- Wearable Plasmonic Biofluid Sensor For Personalized Medicine
Regardless, the researchers have made significant progress in this work in the creation of a reusable sweat biosignal sensor for non-invasive molecular probing. As a result, it is safe to assume that ...
- 17 tried-and-true products that make travel with kids seamless (and even fun!)
Traveling with kids? We've rounded up the best travel gear and accessories for kids that will make getting from point A to B as easy as possible.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Candy-based reusable sensor
- Startups News
Showcase your company news with guaranteed exposure both in print and online Join the BBJ for our second annual Biotech in Boston program… Ready to embrace the fast-paced future we’re all ...
- 60 Romantic Gifts Your Partner Will Treasure
By curating based on music tastes and Spotify profiles, VNYL will deliver LPs monthly—love songs included. If your partner has a turntable, seriously consider this one. Not romantic in a nail-on ...
- Best Prime Day deals: Last-minute deals you can shop today
As well as that, it provides you with personalized recommendations based on your subscriptions ... The IonVac SmartClean 2000 also features sensors that automatically detect hazards including ...
- You Don't Want To Miss These Amazing Prime Day Deals That Won't Last Long
It makes 9-cube batches in just six minutes, and can pump out up to 26 pounds of ice per day (a sensor prevents overflow). Choose from two different cube sizes. Amazon's choice for small ice ...
- Stolen Tech: The Soviet Shuttle
The Dyna-Soar project would end before a vehicle was built, but the idea of a reusable spaceplane was there. It may not have not been a good idea: the Dyna-Soar, Blue Gemini, and the Manned ...