Research on the technology is an opportunity to see how sweat might serve as an indicator of disease severity.
“You’ll be able to measure biomarkers that could predict when a flare is coming on before it’s evident. It could also indicate how individual people respond to a certain medication. There’s a lot of opportunity to explore sweat as a potential tool to manage and treat atopic dermatitis better,” he says.
The Discovery patch is in the research and development phase but could soon come to market.
“We have been working on some of these research projects in collaboration with Epicore and Leo Pharma.
They’re using these patches and applying them on atopic dermatitis patients as well as healthy normal people and collecting sweat directly from these subjects. At this point, we’re still identifying and validating these signatures. But once we do that, I think it’s a relatively rapid path to clinical deployment,” he says. Once on the market, the Discovery patch would offer a noninvasive technology that’s easy to apply and painless.
“What’s particularly exciting about this effort is the opportunity to map in ammation biomarkers around atopic dermatitis lesions locally and across the entire body from individual wearers. This foundational insight about local and global biochemical signals will inform new classes of wearable devices for tracking skin conditions continuously outside of clinical settings,” says A.J. Aranyosi, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and co-founder of Epicore Biosystems.
In the real world, Dr. Xu envisions that this wearable microfluidic device platform will be something patients and doctors use collaboratively, as well as a consumer health monitoring technology.