First nutrition monitoring wearable tracks vitamin C; could be useful in COVID treatment

UCSD’s Joe Wang has again disrupted chemical sensing, by creating a wearable vitamin C sensor, which is a departure from now common vital sign and activity sensing wearables. This is the first time a wearable has been used to track nutritional intake, a key component of general health and disease prevention.

Vitamin C cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be obtained through food or supplements. It supports immune health, collagen production, wound healing and may be useful in treating cancer, heart disease, and COVID-19. High doses have been linked to reduced mortality in COVID patients with Sepsis and/or ARDS in studies.

The adhesive patch, applied to skin, stimulates sweating, and quickly detects vitamin c levels using flexible electrodes containing the enzyme ascorbate oxidase. When vitamin C is present, the enzyme converts it to dehydroascrobic acid. The resulting consumption of oxygen generates a current that is measured by the device. 

Click to view Prof Wang’s (brilliant) talk at the recent ApplySci conference at Harvard Medical School.