Using a nanosensor “tattoo” and a modified iPhone, cyclists could closely monitor sodium levels to prevent dehydration, and anemic patients could track their blood oxygen levels.
Heather Clark, a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Northeastern University, is leading a team working to make this possible. The team begins by injecting a solution containing carefully chosen nanoparticles into the skin. This leaves no visible mark, but the nanoparticles will fluoresce when exposed to a target molecule, such as sodium or glucose. A modified iPhone then tracks changes in the level of fluorescence, which indicates the amount of sodium or glucose present.