New sensor detects vitamin C levels in sweat

The new sensor detects the level of vitamin C in sweat. It will help maintain immunity and the production of collagen, a vital component for wound healing.

A team from the University of California at San Diego has developed a non-invasive vitamin C sensor that can be useful for users who need to monitor their daily meals and dietary habits. The study is published in ACS Sensors.

“Wear-resistant sensors are traditionally used to track physical activity or monitor diseases, such as diabetes,” said co-author of the invention, Julian Sempionatto of the University of California. “We first showed how an enzyme approach can be used to track changes in the level of essential vitamin.”

The new device consists of an adhesive patch that is applied to the skin of the user. Its basis is a sensor that quickly responds to determine the level of vitamin C in sweat. For this, the device includes flexible electrodes containing ascorbate oxidase. In the presence of vitamin C, the enzyme is converted to dehydroascorbic acid. When it interacts with oxygen, a current is generated, which is measured by the device.

In the first tests, it turned out that the device is very sensitive to detecting level changes even within a few minutes. Researchers also tested the ability of an electrode detector to detect temporary changes in vitamin C levels in tears and saliva and proved that it is cross-functional.