Longitudinal assessment of sweat-based TNF-alpha in inflammatory bowel disease using a wearable device

Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 3;14(1):2833. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-53522-1


Robert P Hirten 1Kai-Chun Lin 2Jessica Whang 1Sarah Shahub 2Drew Helmus 1Sriram Muthukumar 3Bruce E Sands 1Shalini Prasad 4 5


Author information

1The Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

2Bioengineering, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX, 75080-3021, USA.

3EnLiSense LLC, Allen, TX, USA.

4Bioengineering, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX, 75080-3021, USA. shalini.prasad@utdallas.edu.

5EnLiSense LLC, Allen, TX, USA. shalini.prasad@utdallas.edu.


Wearable devices can non-invasively monitor patients with chronic diseases. Sweat is an easily accessible biofluid for continuous sampling of analytes, including inflammatory markers and cytokines. We evaluated a sweat sensing wearable device in subjects with and without inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Participants with an IBD related hospital admission and a C-reactive protein level above 5 mg/L wore a sweat sensing wearable device for up to 5 days. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels were continually assessed in the sweat via the sensor, and daily in the blood. A second cohort of healthy subjects without chronic diseases wore the device for up to 48 h. Twenty-eight subjects were enrolled. In the 16 subjects with IBD, a moderate linear relationship between serum and sweat TNF-α levels was observed (R2 = 0.72). Subjects with IBD were found to have a mean sweat TNF-α level of 2.11 pg/mL, compared to a mean value of 0.19 pg/mL in 12 healthy controls (p < 0.0001). Sweat TNF-α measurements differentiated subjects with active IBD from healthy subjects with an AUC of 0.962 (95% CI 0.894-1.000). A sweat sensing wearable device can longitudinally measure key sweat-based markers of IBD. TNF-α levels in the sweat of subjects with IBD correlate with serum values, suggesting feasibility in non-invasive disease monitoring.

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