The Covid-19 pandemic presented us with many concerns related to the virus, and its implications became part of people’s routine; some of them indirectly linked to the disease, such as the effects of isolation.
During the pandemic, out of care or necessity, social isolation ended up becoming a rule for many of us. Due to this condition, exposure to the Sun by those who opted for isolation, decreases drastically; and so the levels of vitamin D in the body of these people dropped, which can be harmful to the immune system and cause changes in mood, causing or intensifying psychological ills.
But a device created by a Brazilian can help monitor the user’s exposure to the sun and pass on all data referring to an application directly on the smartphone.
Professor Petrus Santa Cruz, PhD in the Department of Fundamental Chemistry at UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco), is responsible for the development of this device, which initially was a molecular nanodosimeter – a dosimeter to measure a person’s exposure to radiation.
Santa Cruz had the idea for this device 20 years ago; since then, he has perfected it, implementing a kind of “inkjet” printer that produces a molecule in a ribbon format that stores in memory how much ultraviolet radiation a person received during the period of exposure to the sun.
For years the device was under review by the INPI (National Institute of Intellectual Property), but finally the patent was released and the device was named “Printable Dosimeter for Ultraviolet Radiation”.
The device takes into account the data recorded in the app, such as age, skin type, gender and the clothing the person is wearing. The recording tape can be attached to the shirt, for example; from there it starts collecting data when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
“In this step we are working with more than one type of usage option. In principle, the tapes can be fixed to clothing and the saturation time will depend on the dose received in the period, typically one or two weeks, but these details can still change.“, declares Santa Cruz.
With this, in addition to controlling daily exposure to the sun, – and knowing if some type of supplementation is necessary through medication – the device can help in the prevention of diseases, such as skin cancer. “The smartphone receives the signal from an active tape reader, which will stop emitting the visual signal (luminescence) after reaching the production of a certain dose of vitamin D“, says Santa Cruz.
Currently, the company Outlier Technology is a partner in the project, together with the LandFoton Group (DQF) and the Core Group, from CUFPE’s Computer Science Center (CIn). The project forms part of SibratecNano Program (Finep), and is managed by the UFPE Development Support Foundation (Fade), according to Petrus.
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