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Super cheap diaper insert alerts parents to dehydration and more

Billy Steele
09.10.14
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As a new parent, there are some issues that I can't see with the naked eye. Things like dehydration and bacterial infections can go unnoticed in little tykes, but there's a group of engineering students that's are looking to help. A team from University of California, Riverside developed The Diaper Detective: a low-cost insert that employs chemical indicators similar to a home pregnancy test to reveal the aforementioned ailments. Using paraffin wax flow channels, the pad directs collected urine to areas where the indicator material resides. While the dehydration tests were quite successful (around 100%), bacterial infection trials suffered due to outside air exposure. Aiming to reduce infant mortality worldwide, especially in developing countries, the non-invasive method of collection can be made for around 34 cents and passed out easily by relief workers. What's more, the group says it can be adapted for adult use too, adding additional tests for more maladies.

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