Thursday, 25 July 2013

Tatoo biosensor for lactate to enable extreme sporting performance

Obviously you have to put years of training in and be a pretty unique (and sporty) sort of individual to benefit from such a biosensor tatoo. This sensor detects lactate levels which climb with increasing intensity of exercise until the athlete 'hits the wall', or 'bonks'. Having been there and done that myself all judgement and rational thought have long disappeared before the moment occurs. (Also I'm not that sporty either).

So this biosensor could be the solution!

"The sensor can be applied to the human skin like a temporary tattoo that stays on and flexes with body movements.

In ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry, Joseph Wang and colleagues describe the first human tests of the sensor, which also could help soldiers and others who engage in intense exercise — and their trainers — monitor stamina and fitness." Source: Tatoo biosensor warns when athletes are about to 'hit the wall' (Kurzweil AI)
I worked for a while in Waikato Hospital and remember at the City Gym, in Hamilton, New Zealand, there were some crazy rowers who every now and then brought a portable lactate measuring machine into their training sessions. They would plot their heart rate against their lactate levels with a progressive exercise programme that took them basically to oblivion. They then knew what heart rate level and exercise they could maintain without hitting the wall. They used this for extreme performance in rowing and iron man competitions.

This method of anaerobic threshold training dates from work in the 1980s by Conconi and others [1] and it has enabled a generation of athletes to push the boundaries of their sport.

1. Conconi F, Ferrari M, Ziglio PG, Droghetti P, Codeca L. Determination of the anaerobic threshold by a noninvasive field test in runners. J Appl Physiol 1982 Apr;52(4):869–873. Available from:

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