This Tooth Sensor Can Help You Monitor Your Diet


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A new sensor has been developed which can detect what you are eating and can keep your diet under control. The sensor, which measures only 2mm by 2mm, is created by a team of researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering. The sensor is mounted on the tooth directly and from there, the information about everything you eat can be recorded. The sensor can also tell the ingredient details like salt, glucose and even alcohol consumption. All of this tracking occurs in real time.

The sensor is smaller as well as less bulky as compared to the other devices of the same kind. They can transmit data wirelessly by making use of the radiofrequency technology. The sensor is made up of three combined layers, which cancel out, reflect back and later transmit the collected data. The innermost layer collects the chemicals and nutrients which come into contact with the sensor. The other two layers, located on the outside, in the shape of a square gold ring, changes its color in response to the spectrum of radiofrequency waves which reflects the foods in the mouth.

The results shows a comprehensive data set generated from the intelligent sensor. This is not the first food sensor of its type, however, it offers the most comprehensive solution to track and maintain overall health. In 2013, a team from National Taiwan University developed a wearable sensor. It was able to transmit data to dentists to help patients maintain better oral health. The results provided clues to oral hygienists about habits which the patient may have been unaware of or might be uncomfortable to share with the dentist. The sensor was significantly large, about 11-12mm, and was attached to a separate artificial tooth.

Such sensors and devices can have a lot of impact on healthcare as well as for medical professionals and researchers. Fiorenzo Omenetto Ph.D. said, “In theory, we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals—we are really limited only by our creativity. We have extended common RFID [radiofrequency ID] technology to a sensor package that can dynamically read and transmit information on its environment, whether it is affixed to a tooth, to the skin, or any other surface.”

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