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Aurora magazine

A chewing gum to trace ovulation?

A team of students from the University of Copenhagen is developing a new way to track female hormones. With a chewing gum. They developed a biosensor that they integrated into a gum. When chewed, the biosensor intercepts estrogen and luteinizing hormone. In this way it identifies the hormonal peaks that precede the ovulation period.

When levels of estrogen or luteinizing hormone peak, the biosensor is activated. As a result, the rubber changes color more or less intensely. In this way those who chew it can use the color of the rubber to understand at what stage of ovulation it is. To do this, just use a special app in development, which will analyze the photos of the rubber loaded on the phone.

The results will also be useful to predict fertile periods in the following months. Chewing gum contains a genetically modified yeast with sequences expressing the hormones involved. Furthermore, it contains binders that change color depending on which genetic sequences are activated. At the moment, one of the major problems is making the yeast survive in the gum for a sufficient period. Later, the researchers will also try to aromatize the gum. The company aims to offer an alternative to current hormonal monitoring tools.

The latter are quite expensive, too much for some people. A chewing gum would instead be economical, easy to use and even accurate. For the moment, however, there are still so many improvements to be made.