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“Sweat sticker” to diagnose cystic fibrosis

A novel skin-mounted sticker absorbs sweat and then changes colour to provide an accurate, easy-to-read diagnosis of cystic fibrosis within minutes.

While measuring chloride levels in sweat to diagnose cystic fibrosis is standard, the soft, flexible, skin-like “sweat sticker” offers a stark contrast to current diagnostic technologies, which require a rigid, bulky, wriststrapped device to collect sweat.

After developing the sweat sticker, US researchers validated it in clinical pilot studies involving cystic fibrosis patients and healthy volunteers.

The sticker showed enhanced performance in collected sweat volume and equivalent accuracy to traditional platforms.

By softly adhering to the body, the millimetre-thick sticker makes direct but gentle contact with the skin without harsh adhesives. Not only does this make the sticker more comfortable to the wearer, the intimate coupling also enables the sticker to collect 33% more sweat than current clinical methods.

The researchers state that the high collection rate ensures that one test will consistently collect a large enough sample to provide an accurate result.

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