New Tool: ProSource
Checkout our packaging and processing solutions finder, ProSource.
Start Your Search

Pacifiers Just Got a Major Upgrade

The ‘smart’ pacifier could replace twice daily blood draws to monitor dehydration in premature infants.

Smart Pacifier
Washington State University

The first pacifier, dubbed the “baby comforter,” was patented in 1901. It consisted of an India rubber nipple attached to a disc-shaped shield. Since then, not much innovation has been applied to the low-tech soothing device. However, a recent Medgadget article discussed a novel ‘smart’ pacifier that continuously monitors electrolyte levels in a baby’s saliva. The pacifier was developed by a team at Washington State University, and it could prevent daily blood draws that premature infants have to endure to monitor signs of dehydration, a hallmark risk for preemies. 

The pacifier has microfluidic channels that draw in saliva via capillary action; interior sensors measure sodium and potassium ion concentrations. This information is then wirelessly transferred to a caregiver via Bluetooth. In tests, the device performed as well as conventional blood draws when it came to measuring electrolyte levels. 

Discover Our Content Hub
Access Healthcare Packaging's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover Our Content Hub
Test Your Supply Chain Smarts
Take Healthcare Packaging's supply chain quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Supply Chain Smarts