Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have built a flexible, wearable oral sodium sensor that could help monitor a person’s sodium intake.
A leading cause of hypertension is a person’s uncontrolled salt intake. This often results in high blood pressure and heart complications.
As a solution, the Georgia Institute of Technology researchers built the oral sodium sensor that could be easily worn in the mouth to monitor salt intake.
The sensor reportedly incorporates a small, adaptable electronic framework that uses Bluetooth technology to transfer the data about a person’s sodium intake into a mobile device or tablet. On the other hand, the structure of the device is said to be based on an ultrathin, breathable elastomeric membrane.
For now, the miniaturized system allegedly resembles a dental retainer. However, the researchers are planning to scale down the device further to the size of a tooth.
“We can unobtrusively and wirelessly measure the amount of sodium that people are taking in over time,” Woon-Hong Yeo, an assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said.
“By monitoring sodium in real-time, the device could one day help people who need to restrict sodium intake learn to change their eating habits and diet.” -Woon-Hong Yeo
The researchers’ work on the oral sodium sensor was published in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. The device was tested in three study volunteers who allegedly wore the system for nearly a week while eating both solid and liquid foods.
The new sodium sensing device could potentially be the solution to the problems caused by unmonitored intake of sodium. In the United States alone, the American Heart Association said that an average American usually eats about 3,400 milligrams of sodium on average every day. That’s way over the recommended 1,500 milligrams of salt intake per day.
“Our device could have applications for many different goals involving eating behavior for diet management or therapeutics,” Yeo went on to say.