Tempted to cheat on your diet? You might want to think twice.
Tiny tooth-mounted sensors can now provide real-time information about what you eat and drink.
The technology could prove important in health care and clinical studies, according to the Tufts University School of Engineering team that developed it.
The flexible, 2-millimeter sensors communicate wirelessly with a mobile device to provide information about a person's intake of sugar, salt and alcohol.
Study corresponding author Fiorenzo Omenetto said the sensors can, in theory, be modified to target other chemicals, too.
Future versions could provide a wide range of nutrient, chemical and biological data, according to the paper scheduled for publication in the journal Advanced Materials.
"We are really limited only by our creativity," Omenetto, a Tufts professor of engineering, said in a news release from the Medford, Mass., university.
The sensors are designed to overcome issues with other wearable diet-monitoring devices. Some required a mouth guard or bulky wiring, and their sensors often deteriorated rapidly.
Omenetto said the new sensors are versatile. They can, he said, "read and transmit information on its environment, whether it is affixed to a tooth, to skin, or any other surface."
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases offers advice on diet and nutrition.
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