Sweat duct shape reveals emotional state

April 29th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 29 (IANS) Remote sensing of our bodily and emotional states is likely to have enormous implications for diagnostics, biomedical engineering, anti-terror and security fields. The key lies in the surprising shape of human sweat ducts, structured as an array of minute antennas that operate in the “sub-terahertz” frequency range. This discovery by Hebrew University scientists is based on a new imaging technique called “Optical Coherent Tomography”. Images produced by this technique revealed that sweat ducts are shaped as tiny coils, reports Sciencedaily.

Similar structures with much larger dimensions have been used widely as antennas in wireless systems. This made the investigators consider the possibility that the sweat ducts could behave like tiny helical antennas as well.

In a series of experiments, the Hebrew University team measured electromagnetic radiation that bounced off the palm skin at the frequency range between 75 and 110 GHz.

They found the level of the reflected intensity depends on the level of activity of the perspiration system. The reflected signal is very different if measured in a relaxed subject than it is in someone after intense physical activity.

Conversely the return to the relaxed state produced a signal that was strongly correlated with changes in the blood pressure and pulse rate.

The initial results of the research were published last week in The Physical Review Letters. The publication aroused significant interest among scientists, physicians and science writers.

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