Heart failure (HF) is a very common, costly and potentially fatal health condition which affects over 40 million people globally. The role of mHealth technologies in improving the outpatient management of HF is emerging. However, the majority of the current mHealth based HF monitoring systems, which measure blood pressure, weight, and electrocardiographic recordings, did not show a reduction in all-cause mortality. Human sweat is a key body fluid that contains a wealth of analytes, including electrolytes that are closely monitored in HF patients (e.g., potassium) and key HF biomarkers (e.g., brain natriuretic peptide (BNP)). Thus, sweat could serve as a perfect candidate for developing mHealth tools toward non-invasive and dynamic HF monitoring. In this proposal, we aim to develop an integrated wearable sweat sensor patch for non-invasive, personalized, and dynamic monitoring of heart failure. The proposed wearable sweat sensor platform can perform autonomous sweat induction through an integrated iontophoresis module, efficient sweat sampling through microfluidic channels, and continuous analysis of sweat electrolytes (i.e. potassium) as well as other clinically relevant biomarkers for heart failure (i.e. BNP). The in vivo sensor validation and dynamic correlation study of serum and sweat electrolytes and biomarkers using the wearable sweat sensor will be performed in healthy subjects. Further human trials will be implemented to determine whether sweat analysis in patients with HF can reliably assess electrolyte and biomarker levels, and incorporate a wearable sweat sensor into an integrated mHealth platform to monitor physiological parameters in chronic HF. Harnessing the strengths of our team?s interdisciplinary educational and research background, spanning across chemistry, engineering, and cardiovascular medicine, the following proposal will allow our team to develop a wearable sweat sensor patch to explore the novel method of monitoring clinically relevant biomarkers in patients with HF. The success of this project will unify mobile health management, monitoring and feedback into a single wearable platform. This platform has the potential to not only revolutionize the management of chronic heart failure, but also to significantly impact the healthcare industry by discovering a meaningful way to incorporate the use of wearable electronics into a chronic disease model.
This project aims to develop a fully integrated wearable sweat sensor patch that can perform autonomous sweat induction, sampling, and bioanalysis for non-invasive and wireless monitoring of heart failure. This project spans across chemistry, engineering, and cardiovascular medicine to explore the novel method of monitoring clinically relevant biomarkers in patients with heart failure. This platform has the potential to not only revolutionize the management of chronic heart failure, but also to significantly impact the healthcare industry by discovering a meaningful way to incorporate the use of mHealth electronics into a chronic disease model.