Chronology of Sweat
Significant clinical uses of sweat testing trace back to the 1950’s. Yet it is only now in the twenty-first century that we are witnessing rapid acceleration of sweat diagnostics for applications ranging from athletics to pediatrics to pharmaceutical monitoring.
The Quest for the Perfect Bio-Fluid
Several years before the founding of our company, Dr. Jason Heikenfeld of the University of Cincinnati, and research colleagues at the Air Force Research Labs at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, launched an all-out-push to enable continuous monitoring of blood-based biomarkers in Air Force personnel for optimal mission performance and safety. The goal was not to create something incremental, but rather to revolutionize biomarker collection and analysis. A true leap forward would require the technology to be non-invasive and to allow sampling intervals as short as several minutes.
"Sweat is the only bio-fluid that fits these criteria."
Groundbreaking Sensor Technology
The real innovation came in the approach. Heikenfeld and his colleagues are engineers. They recognized that clinical (laboratory) techniques were impractical for use outside the lab and under the special activity requirements of Air Force personnel. The historical laboratory methods for the capture and analysis of sweat were actually less convenient than an invasive blood draw. They quickly looked at eccrine sweat glands as non-invasive micro-fluidic conduits for getting biomarkers from blood and interstitial fluid across tiny yet powerful electronic sensors.
Advanced electronic wearable technology which captures and senses sweat biomarkers the instant they emerge from sweat glands, capturing them with accuracy and consistency, and sensing them well before they start to degrade on the surface of the skin. This was a game changer, as the quality of sweat sensing measurements became superior to historical clinical lab approaches. Furthermore, although sweat sensing had arguably been the most inconvenient type of bio-fluid sampling, the new sweat sensing technology completely flipped the argument, making sweat sampling ergonomically superior to all other bio-fluids. A true paradigm shift in non-invasive bio-monitoring was born.
As Eccrine have come to see the full scope of the propriety sweat technology that it has developed, it was realized that its application extends far beyond any one niche. Eccrine is now working on utilizing its technology to apply to medicine, industry, sport, in addition to maintaining our roots in the armed forces.