||1R21CA239249-01A1 Interpret this number
||University Of California-Irvine
||Development of a Fully Integrated, Wearable Platform for Continuous Monitoring of Nutrient Intake
Understanding the role of dietary intake in nutrition, health, and disease is the underlying goal of much of modern
nutrition research. Fundamental to the core of nutritional science in humans is the assessment and monitoring of
dietary intake, of which the current methods are the ultimate bottleneck towards scientific progress in the field.
Methods that contribute to dietary assessment that measure intake in real time, improve reliability and validity, and
deal with the inherent variability of nutrients in foods will fundamentally change how dietary intake is assessed and
monitored, altering the way nutritional science and clinical care related dietary intake are carried out. However, the
devices and methods that will address these fundamental roadblocks do not exist- no automated method of
tracking when, how, or what people are consuming, much less quantitative techniques to measure the actual
nutrients people are consuming within their diet over time are ready for primetime. Such techniques would not
only give scientists and clinicians a powerful tool to track dietary intake, but could have numerous applications in
population health and clinical care.
There have been numerous attempts with limited utility made to address this issue. Currently, existing devices to
monitor the mouth in-situ for dietary intake have been limited. Examples have including electrochemical sensors that
are limited in the scope of their detection (demonstrated devices can only detect urea), possess low lifetime, have
questionable biocompatibility, and are difficult to calibrate in complex fluidic environments. One area that could
address this problem is RFid (dielectric) tattoos, an elegant concept with demonstrable utility fit on bovine teeth, but
limited bio-sensitivity and loss of signal in high salinity environments. Recently, we have developed a novel format
of RFid sensor, whose unique bio-sensitivity is driven via bio-amplification in the form of a mechanically-
swelling, hygroscopic interlayer sandwiched between split-ring antennas (that we term a bio-interlayer-RFid).
This concept infuses some of the sensitivity of electrochemical sensors into the long-term, bio-compatible format of
dielectric sensors. We have successfully demonstrated the viability of these sensors in-situ within human
mouths, and preliminarily discriminated nutrients such as water, ethanol / fat, salts, glucose (in addition to
the drying of mouth). This discrimination was extracted from real-world bio-fluids such as drinking water, mouthwash,
soup, and apple juice at reasonable time frames (30 seconds – 2 minutes).
This proposal will utilize these sensors to develop a first-in-class device to continuously measure nutrients directly
from the foods we eat. This will be accomplished via aims that seek to: (1) Further develop and improve bio-interlayer-
RFid sensitivity and responsive time, (2) Development of a wireless and wearable RF-circuit to read-out data from
interlayer-RFids, and (3) In-vitro characterization and validation of our wearable device with a dynamic face model.