|Photo credit : Idea Connection|
A newly discovered mouthguard able to measure uric acid levels continuously and non-invasively could offer a novel way to monitor the health of patients as well as that of athletes and pilots.
Currentl in the proof of concept stage, the mouthguard is equipped and proportionally caliberated with sensors able to measure the levels of uric acid in the patient’s saliva, as well as electronics that transmit the information to a smartphone or tablet. (Uric acid is a marker for diabetes and gout, and previously required a blood draw in order to get a reading.) In tests involving just the sensor and samples from volunteers—including one known hyperuricemic patient—the device was able to recognize the high uric acid level, as well as when the levels began to drop after medication took effect.
The team’s next step will to be test the device while it is being worn, and to increase the sensor’s monitoring abilities to include other markers.