Wearable biosensors for healthcare monitoring

Nat Biotechnol. 2019 Apr;37(4):389-406. doi: 10.1038/s41587-019-0045-y. Epub 2019 Feb 25.


Wearable biosensors are garnering substantial interest due to their potential to provide continuous, real-time physiological information via dynamic, noninvasive measurements of biochemical markers in biofluids, such as sweat, tears, saliva and interstitial fluid. Recent developments have focused on electrochemical and optical biosensors, together with advances in the noninvasive monitoring of biomarkers including metabolites, bacteria and hormones. A combination of multiplexed biosensing, microfluidic sampling and transport systems have been integrated, miniaturized and combined with flexible materials for improved wearability and ease of operation. Although wearable biosensors hold promise, a better understanding of the correlations between analyte concentrations in the blood and noninvasive biofluids is needed to improve reliability. An expanded set of on-body bioaffinity assays and more sensing strategies are needed to make more biomarkers accessible to monitoring. Large-cohort validation studies of wearable biosensor performance will be needed to underpin clinical acceptance. Accurate and reliable real-time sensing of physiological information using wearable biosensor technologies would have a broad impact on our daily lives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Biosensing Techniques / trends
  • Biotechnology
  • Body Fluids / chemistry
  • Computer Systems
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis / instrumentation
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / trends
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Sweat / chemistry
  • Tears / chemistry
  • Wearable Electronic Devices* / trends