North Carolina State University,
Keywords: wearable microfluidics, non-invasive sensors
Summary:Recent advances in materials, mechanics, and device architectures form the foundations for rapidly emerging classes of sensors and energy devices with mechanical characteristics that allow for conformal interfaces with the soft, curvilinear surfaces of the human body. While the field of tissue-integrated biophysical sensors exhibits commendable progress in capturing clinical quality thermal, kinematic, and electrophysiological information, the advancement of complementary biochemical sensors severely lags due to unique challenges associated with seamless integration of delicate biochemical receptors, transducing components, and suitable packaging materials. Similarly, the vast majority of demonstrated tissue-mounted energy storage and energy harvesting systems unfortunately rely on toxic components that substantially diminish their attractiveness in bio-related applications. In this talk, I will discuss how innovative microfluidics can be combined with advances in materials engineering, wireless electronics, and hybrid manufacturing to realize unique classes of wearable biochemical sensors and energy devices to power them. I will show examples of soft, wearable microfluidics with advanced passive valves and user-activated pumps that enable chemical analysis directly on the skin similar to standard analytical labs.