Miniaturized Tooth-Mounted Sensor Tracks Dietary Intake

Nanotech

Photo By Kjerstin_Michaela via Pixabay
 

Researchers from the US-based Tufts University School of Engineering have developed a miniaturized sensor that can be mounted on the tooth of a person and it is capable of transmitting information wirelessly to track what the said person eats.

The sensors can transmit details to a mobile device about the alcohol, salt, and glucose intake of the person. Researchers even note that the technology may soon be used in recording and detecting nutrients, as well as physiological and chemical states. Compared to other wearable devices that are used for monitoring the dietary intake of the user, the miniaturized sensors don’t have limitations, such as using bulky wiring or mouth guards. Once the sensor is placed on the tooth, it doesn’t have to be frequently replaced because it does not rapidly deteriorate, said the team.

Tufts engineers first created the 2mm x 2mm sensor that can conform flexibly to a tooth’s irregular surface. They said that the technology is composed of three layers. One is the central bioresponsive layer that functions to absorb the chemicals and nutrients to be detected. Second is the outer layer that is made up of gold rings in a square shape and the third layer is a tiny antenna. The purpose of the third layer is to collect and transmit the waves in the radio frequency range.

The research explains that the central layer alters its color and electrical properties if the layer takes salt. Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D. said that they have extended common radio frequency ID technology to a sensor package that can transmit and read data on its environment, whether affixed to the skin, a tooth, or other surfaces.