The mouth guard sensor offers an easy and reliable way
to monitor uric acid levels in human saliva.
(September 1, 2015) Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a mouth guard that can monitor health markers, such as lactate, cortisol and uric acid, in saliva and transmit the information wirelessly to a smart phone, laptop or tablet.
The technology, which is at a proof-of-concept stage, could be used to monitor patients continuously without invasive procedures, as well as to monitor athletes’ performance or stress levels in soldiers and pilots. In this study, engineers focused on uric acid, which is a marker related to diabetes and to gout. Currently, the only way to monitor the levels of uric acid in a patient is to draw blood.
The team, led by nanoengineering professor Joseph Wang and electrical engineering professor Patrick Mercier, both from the University of California, San Diego, describes the mouth guard’s design and performance this month in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.
“The ability to monitor continuously and non-invasively saliva biomarkers holds considerable promise for many biomedical and fitness applications,” said Wang.