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

Robert P. Hirten, Kai Chun Lin, Jessica Whang, Sarah Shahub, Drew Helmus, Sriram Muthukumar, Bruce E. Sands, Shalini Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


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