In Brief

Created by researchers at the University of Toronto, the device measure the skin's pH levels to identify metabolic stress in patients and athletes.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a temporary tattoo in the shape of a smiley face that can monitor metabolic stress in patients and athletes. The medical sensor is a thin and flexible solid-contact ion-selective electrode (ISE), made using standard screen printing techniques and commercially-available transfer tattoo paper.

The ‘eyes’ on the tattoo are electrodes that monitor the skin’s pH levels, which can indicate dehydration and fatigue. The ‘ears’ can be used to connect to a monitoring device to extract the data. During tests, the tattoo-based sensor stayed in place and continued to work even during exercise when the wearer was sweating.

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