The purpose of this study was to compare a wearable microfluidic device and standard absorbent patch in measuring local sweating rate (LSR) and sweat chloride concentration ([Cl-]) in elite basketball players. Participants were 53 male basketball players (25 ± 3 years, 92.2 ± 10.4 kg) in the National Basketball Association's development league. Players were tested during a moderate-intensity, coach-led practice (98 ± 30 min, 21.0 ± 1.2 °C). From the right ventral forearm, sweat was collected using an absorbent patch (3M Tegaderm™ + Pad). Subsequently, LSR and local sweat [Cl-] were determined via gravimetry and ion chromatography. From the left ventral forearm, LSR and local sweat [Cl-] were measured using a wearable microfluidic device and associated smartphone application-based algorithms. Whole-body sweating rate (WBSR) was determined from pre- to postexercise change in body mass corrected for fluid/food intake (ad libitum), urine loss, and estimated respiratory water and metabolic mass loss. The WBSR values predicted by the algorithms in the smartphone application were also recorded. There were no differences between the absorbent patch and microfluidic patch for LSR (1.25 ± 0.91 mg·cm-2·min-1 vs. 1.14 ±0.78 mg·cm-2·min-1, p = .34) or local sweat [Cl-] (30.6 ± 17.3 mmol/L vs. 29.6 ± 19.4 mmol/L, p = .55). There was no difference between measured and predicted WBSR (0.97 ± 0.41 L/hr vs. 0.89 ± 0.35 L/hr, p = .22; 95% limits of agreement = 0.61 L/hr). The wearable microfluidic device provides similar LSR, local sweat [Cl-], and WBSR results compared with standard field-based methods in elite male basketball players during moderate-intensity practices.
Keywords: algorithms; carbohydrate; electrolytes; smartphone application; tattoos.