Tiny Trees from UC San Diego are High-Tech Flexible Sensors

sensors
The tiny trees in the background are high-tech flexible sensors for medical applications, and can be used to monitor vital signs and brain activity. They are part of the artwork for Research Expo 2016.

The tiny trees on the image above, part of the artwork for Research Expo 2016, are actually sensors, fabricated by researchers in the lab of University of California, San Diego bioengineering professor Todd Coleman. The sensors are high-tech flexible sensors for medical applications, and can be used to monitor vital signs and brain activity.

 Coleman and his colleagues have developed a method that cuts down by half the time needed to make the sensors, which brings them one step closer to mass-market manufacturing and allows bioengineers to broaden the reach of their research to more clinical settings.

“A clinical need is what drove us to change our fabrication process,” Coleman said.

Coleman’s team at UC San Diego has been working in medical settings for four years. Their sensors have been used to monitor premature babies, pregnant women, patients in Intensive Care Units and patients suffering from sleep disorders.

Coleman and colleagues quickly found out that nurses wanted the sensors to come in a peel-and-stick form, like a medical-grade Band Aid. The medium on which the sensors were placed also needed to be FDA-approved.

The sensors’ original fabrication process involved 10 steps – five of which had to take place in a clean room. Also, the steps to remove the sensors from the silicon wafer they’re built on alone took anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, and the sensors remained fragile and susceptible to rips and tears.

But what if you could use the adhesive properties of a Band Aid-like medium to help peel off the sensors from the silicon wafer easily and quickly?

One of Coleman’s students created a process that comprises only six steps – three of them in the clean room. The steps that took 10 to 20 minutes before now take just 35 seconds.

Read more about this research here.

Coleman is a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. He was recently awarded the 2015 UC San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award for his work recruiting and mentoring underrepresented students and students with diverse backgrounds. You can read more about his outstanding efforts here.

The bioengineering department will showcase 16 posters at Research Expo 2016 on April 14, 2016.

Search all Research Expo posters here.

46. MICROPOWER INTEGRATED NANO-ENGINEERED RETINAL INTERFACES

Student(s): Abraham Akinin | Sohmyung Ha
Professor(s)Gert Cauwenberghs | Gabriel A. Silva
Industry Application Area(s): Electronics/Photonics | Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Semiconductor

47. HUMANIZED MOUSE MODEL FOR THE STUDY OF THE HUMAN IMMUNE RESPONSE TO XENOGENEIC AND ALLOGENEIC BIOMATERIAL THERAPIES

Student(s): Raymond M Wang
Professor(s)Karen L. Christman
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials

48. ELECTROPHORETIC METHOD FOR MONITORING PROTEASE ACTIVITY RESPONSE TO HIGH-FAT MEAL IN PERSONS WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES

Student(s): Elaine Alexandra Skowronski | Augusta Esmeralda Modestino
Professor(s)Michael J. Heller
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

49. TRANSFER LEARNING WITH LARGE-SCALE DATA IN BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACES

Student(s): Chunshu Wei
Professor(s)Tzyy-Ping Jung
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Software, Analytics

50. BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACID CATABOLISM SUPPORTS ADIPOCYTE DIFFERENTIATION AND LIPOGENESIS

Student(s): Courtney Renee Green
Professor(s)Christian M. Metallo
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Pharmaceutical

51. CARDIAC STRETCH-INDUCED TRANSCRIPTOMIC CHANGES ARE DIRECTION DEPENDENT

Student(s): Kyle Buchholz
Professor(s): Jeffrey Omens | Andrew D. Mc Culloch
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

52. THE EFFECT OF SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS ON DRUG RESPONSES IN ERYTHROCYTE METABOLISM

Student(s): Nathan Da-Wei Mih
Professor(s)Bernhard O. Palsson
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Bioengineering

53. CARTILAGE AND SYNOVIUM GENE EXPRESSION CHANGES DURING PTOA PROGRESSION

Student(s): Aimee Rose Raleigh
Professor(s)Robert L. Sah
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Diagnostics

54. COMPARING NETWORK EFFICIENCY OF AN AUTISM MODEL TO A TYPICALLY DEVELOPING MODEL

Student(s): Vivek Kurien George
Professor(s)Gabriel A. Silva
Industry Application Area(s): Internet, Networking, Systems | Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

55. A NOVEL APPROACH TO QUANTIFY THE DYNAMIC MATRIX MECHANICAL PROPERTIES DURING CANCER GROWTH

Student(s): Shruti Krishna Kumar Davey
Professor(s)Shyni Varghese
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

56. A NOVEL APPROACH TO QUANTIFYING THE DIFFUSIVITY OF A TUMOR

Student(s): Han Liang Lim
Professor(s)Shyni Varghese
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

57. AGE-RELATED IN VIVO BIOMATERIAL-MEDIATED BONE REGENERATION

Student(s): Mengqian Liu
Professor(s)Shyni Varghese | Mengqian Liu
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials

58. APPLICATION OF 3D ORGAN-ON-CHIP TECHNOLOGY TOWARDS CREATING IN VITRO CANCER MODELS

Student(s): Aereas Aung | Jomkuan Theprungsirikul
Professor(s)Shyni Varghese
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

59. BIOMINERALIZED MATERIAL-ASSISTED HEALING OF CRITICAL-SIZED BONE DEFECTS

Student(s): Eva Carolina Gonzalez Diaz
Professor(s)Shyni Varghese
Industry Application Area(s): Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments | Materials

60. ENGINEERED 3D SKELETAL MUSCLE-ON-A-CHIP AS AN IN VITRO TOOL

Student(s): Gaurav Agrawal
Professor(s)Shyni Varghese