Tokyo: According to a recent study, a team of researchers has developed a unique ultrathin sensor made of gold, which can be attached directly to the skin without any irritation or discomfort.
The study findings were published in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.
Ultrathin sensors can evaluate various biomarkers or substances for chemical analysis of the body. It works using a Raman Spectroscopy technique, where the laser light targeting the sensor varies slightly depending on whatever chemicals are present on the skin. The sensor can be finely tuned to be extremely sensitive, and it is strong enough for practical use.
Wearable technology is nothing new. Maybe you or the person you know wears a smartwatch. Many of these can observe some health matters such as heart rate, but currently, they cannot measure chemical signatures that may be useful for a medical diagnosis. Even smartwatches or more specialized medical monitors are relatively heavy and often very expensive. Inspired by such shortcomings, a team consisting of researchers from the Department of Chemistry University of Tokyo Discovered new ways to understand different health conditions and environmental issues in a non-invasive and cost-effective way.
“A few years ago, I came across an exciting method for the production of strong stretchable electronic components from another research group at the University of Tokyo,” he said. Limi Liu, A visiting scholar at the time of the study and is currently a lecturer at Yangzhou University in China. “These devices are cut from gold-coated ultrafine threads, so can be attached to the skin without any problems because the gold does not react or irritate the skin in any way. As a sensor, they were limited to finding motion, and we were watching. “For something that can experience chemical signatures, biomarkers and drugs. So we relied on this idea and created a non-invasive sensor that exceeded our expectations and inspired us to find ways to further improve its efficiency.”
The main component of the sensor is a fine gold mesh, because gold is inert, meaning that when it comes in contact with a substance the team wants to measure – for example a potential disease biomarker present in sweat – it does not change chemically. That object. But instead, since the gold mesh is so nice, it can provide a surprisingly large surface for attaching biomarkers, and this is where the other components of the sensor come in. Such as a low-power laser pointing to a gold mesh. , Some laser light is absorbed and some is reflected. From the reflected light, most have the same energy as the incoming light. However, some incoming light loses energy for a biomarker or other measurable object, and the discrepancy in energy between reflected and incident light is unique to the object in question. A sensor called a spectrometer can use this unique energy fingerprint to identify an object. This method of chemical identification is known as Raman spectroscopy.
“Currently, our sensors need to be meticulously tuned to detect certain objects, and we want to advance both sensitivity and specificity in the future,” said the assistant professor. Tingui Xiao. “With this, we think applications like glucose monitoring, ideal for diabetics, or even virus detection, are possible.”
“In addition to Raman spectroscopy, sensors are also likely to work with other methods of chemical analysis, such as electrochemical analysis, but all of these ideas need further investigation,” the professor said. Keisuke Goda. “In any case, I hope this research could lead to a new generation of low-cost biosensors that could revolutionize health care and reduce the financial burden of health care.”