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Post from Synthetic Biology & Biodesign

Synthetic Biology & Biodesign | Past Projects

  • People are not always attuned to what their bodies need and the reasons they feel tired or sick. Improper nutrition can often be the cause.  NutriSensor is a wearable bioreactor that helps people attain nutritional knowledge to improve their health. The patch detects levels of protein, glucose, fat, and sodium in the wearer's body and then connects with an app on the phone so they can check their nutrition levels anywhere, anytime. The ultimate goal of NutriSensor is to help people become more conscious about what they put in their bodies and become healthier. When people use this device, they will think about what foods they consume and what nutritional value a particular food actually has. People will become better informed about whether they are putting too much or too little of different types of foods into their bodies.

    NutriSensor is designed for the general public who want to know more about their bodies. It is very helpful for people who struggle with protein deficiency, diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.  An obese user could see what nutritional values they were lacking and which were being over-consumed, so they could regulate their eating and lose weight. This patch is also very helpful to doctors because if someone felt sick and couldn't express their symptoms, the doctor could touch the phone to the patch and find out that person's nutrition levels, without having to order a blood draw and wait for lab results.

    NutriSensor is a small square with microneedles that go into the wearer's forearm. These microneedles go into the skin and use capillary action to suck up the interstitial fluid that's between the cells. This fluid flows into 4 different chambers that host engineered E.coli cells that can detect 4 distinct nutrients: protein, glucose, fat, and sodium. Once the bacteria sense the amount of protein, they will send a number of electrons to the NFC chip, indicating the protein level. There has been the Fitbit that tracts your exercise and heartbeat and a hydration monitor coming out in the summer but there has never been a monitor that detects the nutrition in your body like the NutriSensor.