Stanford’s Alberto Salleohas created a patch that continuously monitors cortisol levels in sweat. Potential uses include sports performance measurement, early disease detection, adrenal and pituitary gland monitoring, and evaluating the emotional state of young or non verbal patients.
Cortisol influences emotional stress, blood pressure, metabolism, immune response and and memory formation.
The stretchy, rectangular sensor is wrapped around a membrane that specifically binds only to cortisol. It absorbs sweat through holes in the bottom. Sweat pools in a reservoir, topped by the cortisol-sensitive membrane. Charged ions pass through the membrane unless they are blocked by cortisol. The sensor detects the backed up charged ions. The top waterproof layer protects the patch from contamination.