Plenary Speakers

  • Soft, Wireless Skin-Interfaced Devices for Health Monitoring and Haptic Interactions

    Over the last decade, a convergence of new concepts in materials science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and advanced manufacturing has led to the emergence of diverse, novel classes of 'biocompatible' electronic, microfluidic and microelectromechanical systems with skin-compatible physical properties.  The results create vast opportunities in diagnostic, therapeutic and/or sensory devices with important, unique capabilities that range from fitness/wellness, to sports performance, clinical healthcare and virtual reality environments.  This talk describes the key ideas and presents some of the most recent examples in (1) wireless, battery-free electronic 'tattoos' for continuous monitoring of vital signs in neonatal and pediatric intensive care, including active deployments in the most advanced hospitals in the US and clinics in multiple countries in Africa, (2) microfluidic platforms that can capture, manipulate and perform biomarker analysis on microliter volumes of sweat, with applications in precise hydration management in sports and fitness, including commercial devices featured on celebrity sports figures with Gatorade and (3) programmable vibro-haptic interfaces that support real-time patient feedback and enhanced experiences in virtual reality environments.

  • Electronic Skins for Robotics and Healthcare Applications

    The human skin is a large-area, multi-point, multi-modal, stretchable sensor, which has inspired the development of electronic skin for robots that simultaneously detect pressure and thermal distribution. By improving its conformability, the application of electronic skin has expanded from robots to next-generation wearables for human, reaching a point where ultrathin semiconductor membrane can be directly laminated onto the skin. Such intimate and conformal integration of electronics with the human skin allows continuous monitoring of health conditions for a long time, enabling personalization of medical care. The ultimate goal of the electronic skin is to non-invasively measure human activities under natural conditions, enabling electronic skin and human skin to interactively reinforce each other. In this talk, I will review recent progress in stretchable thin-film electronics for applications to robotics and next-generation wearables for healthcare applications and address issues and the future prospect of electronic skin.

  • Skin-Inspired Sensors, Integrated Circuits and Bioelectronics

    Skin is the body’s largest organ. It is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable, self-healable and biodegradable material simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information such as pressure, pain, and temperature. The development of electronic materials, inspired by the complexity of this organ is a tremendous, unrealized materials challenge. However, the advent of organic-based electronic materials may offer a potential solution to this longstanding problem. Over the past decade, we have developed materials design concepts to add skin-like functions to organic electronic materials without compromising their electronic properties. An important discovery was nano-confined polymer semiconductors and conductors. This finding addressed the long-standing challenge of conformational disorder-limited charge transport with polymer electronic materials. It enabled us to introduce various skin-like functions while simultaneously increase polymer electronic material charge transport ability. The above fundamental understanding further allowed us to develop direct photo-patterning methods and fabrication processes for high-density large scale soft stretchable integrated circuits. In addition, we developed various soft sensors for continuous measurements, including pressure, strain, shear, temperature, electrophysiological and neurotransmitter sensors. The above sensors and integrated circuits are the foundations for soft bioelectronics and are enabling a broad range of new tools for medical devices, robotics and wearable electronics.