Detection of low glucose levels in sweat with colorimetric wearable biosensors†
Low glucose levels during exercise may lead to hypoglycemia, which can have grave consequences in diabetic athletes. Mobile colorimetric wearable biosensors that measure glucose levels in sweat are ideal for self-monitoring as they can utilize the camera in smartphones for signal reading. However, colorimetric biosensors proposed thus far have higher limit of detection (LOD) than electrochemical devices, which makes them unsuitable for detecting hypoglycemia. In this manuscript we describe colorimetric wearable biosensors that detect glucose in sweat with an LOD of 0.01 mM and a dynamic range up to 0.15 mM. The devices are made of filter paper and incorporate a sweat volume sensor and a color chart for signal correction. The biosensors do not suffer from interferences originated by delayed sample readings, or differences in bending angle and sample pH. When applied to volunteers performing an exercise routine, sweat glucose levels corrected with sweat volume measurements correlated well with blood glucose measurements performed with a commercial device. The devices are lightweight and easily disposable. These features, along with the smartphone-based colorimetric readout, makes them promising as “over-the-counter” tests for measuring glucose levels non-invasively during exercise.