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Scientists Develop Tooth-Mounted Sensors That Can Track What You Eat

By Tufts Now

March 30, 2018

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Tufts University researchers have built miniaturized sensors that, when mounted directly on a tooth, transmit information to a mobile device on one's glucose, salt, and alcohol intake.

Such sensors could enable the tracking of an individual's consumption of a wide range of nutrients and chemicals, as well as their physiological states, the researchers say.

The 2mm x 2mm sensors easily fit on a tooth and can flexibly conform to its irregular surface.

The sensors are equipped with a central "bioresponsive" layer that absorbs the nutrient to be detected, and two square-shaped gold rings as outer layers. These layers function as a tiny antenna, collecting and transmitting radio waves; an incoming wave hits the sensor, and some of the wave is cancelled out while the rest is transmitted back.

The sensor can change its "color," shifting its electrical properties to allow nutrients and other analytes to be detected and measured.

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