Parallel to the study of possible new drugs and others already known that serve to stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, researchers are designing devices to warn of the implications of the infection in the body. This is the case of the team led by Professor Shalini Prasat, from the American University of Texas, which has designed and developed a cytokine sweat sensor It acts as an early warning system for an impending ‘cytokine storm’, which could help clinicians treat these patients more effectively. It is well known that, at the beginning of the pandemic, clinicians around the world recognized that there were quite a few documented cases of people diagnosed with Covid-19 who had developed “cytokine storms” in their bodies; that is, a surge of pro-inflammatory immune proteins that made them have a greater risk of death.
On April 17, in the framework of the spring meeting of the American Chemical Association (ACS), which has been held virtually since last April 5, Professor Prasat, an expert in biomedical engineering, explained the details of the device she has designed and developed. Called “sweetsenser”, it is capable of measuring cytokines in patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs, which excrete them in the low concentration range of picograms per milliliter. The device tracked cytokine levels for up to 168 hours before it was necessary to replace the sensor strip, according to this researcher who directs the Laboratory of Biomedical Microdevices and Nanotechnology at the University of Texas, in Dallas.