The University of Manchester

Cutting-edge Wearable Sensor Precisely Monitors Minute Alterations in the Breath Cycle

Scientists from Manchester have created a groundbreaking wearable sensor that can accurately monitor a person’s breath, detecting even the slightest changes in their inhaling and exhaling processes. This innovative sensor, made from a 2D material called hexagonal boron nitride, surpasses previous designs in sensitivity and accuracy. It has the potential to greatly improve respiratory health monitoring and aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as asthma and sleep apnoea. Lead author Prof. Cinzia Casiraghi describes the sensor as a highly accurate “microphone for your breath,” capable of providing valuable physiological information related to cardiac, neurological, and pulmonary conditions. The sensor works by using a hexagonal boron nitride ink that is sensitive to water molecules, deposited as a thin film between electrodes. An electric field is then applied, and changes in the electrical signal indicate variations in the exhaling and inhaling process. The new sensor offers numerous advantages, including increased sensitivity, faster response time, and resistance to environmental factors. It can also be easily integrated into face masks. The researchers believe this technology could revolutionize respiratory health monitoring and help track the effectiveness of treatments. They are currently working on enhancing the sensor’s capabilities to detect specific biomarkers associated with respiratory diseases. The ultimate goal is to make this technology readily available to patients and healthcare providers in the near future.

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