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Tooth sensor tracks what you put inside your mouth

/ 07:47 PM March 27, 2018

Image: SilkLab, Tufts University

Mathematically, losing weight is easy. It is known that in each pound of fat, there are 3,500 calories. To lose a pound, one must burn 3,500 calories in exercise or healthy eating. The actual journey to weight loss, however, is no walk in the park, and can be exhausting not just to your physical body but on your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being as well.

It helps to be realistic too, and when it comes to losing weight, turning to science may be more feasible than chugging slimming teas, taking hunger-curbing pills, or slathering cellulite-vanishing lotions. If your current gym routine, calorie-counting and Fitbit tracker need a leg up, the researchers at Tufts University, headed by biomedical engineer Fiorenzo Omenetto, might be of help.

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Omenetto’s team created a functional tooth sensor that wirelessly monitors your oral cavity and food consumption, tracking your sugar, salt and alcohol intake in real time. Their study, which was published in the journal Advanced Materials last March 23, aims to make “conclusive links between dietary intake and health.”

The device is 2 millimeter x 22 in size, and uses a three-layer design, whose passive dielectric sensors possess enhanced sensitivity. Meanwhile, the adhesion of the device on the tooth enamel detects food during ingestion.

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The tooth sensor may still have a long way to go in terms of trial-and-error. It is still unable to alert one with, say, total calories consumed in a day. Nevertheless, it still comes as a promising invention, especially to those who need to carefully watch their food intake, such as the elderly or people with allergies who are medically-required to maintain a certain diet. JB

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TAGS: Diet, healthcare, healthy lifestyle, tooth sensor, Tufts University
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