Sneha Mukherjee

M.Tech, Chemical Engineering, 2018
Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)
Kharagpur, West Bengal, India

B.E, Chemical Engineering, 2016
B.M.S College of Engineering
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

The monitoring of human health and well-being with the use of wearables is considered critical in the next generation of biomedical devices. The field of wearable sensors utilizing sweat collection and analysis has seen a number of impressive and rapid advances in the past few years. Sweat is an important source of information for monitoring individuals’ health as it contains essential biomarkers. However, collecting sweat for analysis is challenging because most of the commercially available health-monitoring devices are either invasive in nature or work only during active sweating (visible sweat on skin surface due to strenuous physical exertion) or involve rigorous post-processing.

My work involves developing a lateral flow immunoassay platform for analyte (cortisol, potassium ions) detection in sweat, that functions under the novel, non-invasive simultaneous action of osmosis (for sweat sampling from skin) and evaporation (for sustaining continuous flow). It is expected that such natural driving forces would make the patch operational even on sedentary subjects over periods of many hours without any electrical power or electronic sensors.

The operation of the patch on human skin is expected to be a simple process where the patch is strapped around the arm. We wait for a few minutes for the sweat inflow to start and the reaction to take place at the reaction zone (test line) of the patch. The patch is removed once the colour change is observed at the test line. The colour on the test line of the patch can be compared to a pre-calibrated colour chart corresponding to a specific concentration of the analyte. Such simple methods of quantifying the output of LFAs without the use of any stand-alone bench top readers definitely opens up tremendous opportunity for home-use of such POC diagnostics.