Alcohol consumption has widespread prevalence with global impact on societies, economies, and health. Overconsumption and misuse of alcohol has led to significant burdens, including nearly 88,000 fatalities in 2006 (CDC, 2013), contribution to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions totaling 5.1% of the burden of disease and injury worldwide (Sacks, 2014), and costs greater than $249 billion annually in the USA alone (Sacks, 2014). This project aims to impact the aforementioned societal, health, and economic burdens by increasing awareness of alcohol consumption, intoxication, and misuse. The proposed wearable technology leverages Milo Sensors? patented transdermal analyte sensing technology (US Patent 9,855,000) to develop a highly sensitive, non-invasive enzymatic transdermal alcohol sensor for continuous measurement of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Supported by successful completion of SBIR Phase I Research Aims, expected outcomes from this research project include: 1) development of device manufacturing techniques for the reliable production of low cost, high-sensitivity enzymatic biosensors, 2) clinical validation of the transdermal alcohol quantification through comparisons of the proposed technology to commercially available transdermal alcohol sensors, as well as to police-grade breath alcohol instruments as a proxy for BAC, and 3) research validation of biosensor performance and low-power wireless transmission capabilities in intended use settings. Milo Sensors? technology will enable continuous monitoring of alcohol in applications where measurement is critical to understanding decision-making, drinking behavior, and health. Validation gathered from this study could lead towards the development of a wearable alcohol platform capable of continuous alcohol monitoring for improved decision-making and accountability, leading to increased awareness, disease management and health outcomes.
The proposed wearable non-invasive transdermal alcohol biosensor will fulfill a critical need for technology that detects alcohol intoxication by providing continuous monitoring of blood alcohol content. This project will substantially advance the state-of-the-art in wearable biosensors with implications in reducing the negative health effects associated with excessive alcohol consumption. The technology will be used by clinical researchers, technology and health-conscious consumers, workforce accountability departments, treatment and incentive programs, targeted outreach programs, both in the United States and worldwide.