SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Saswat Mishra
TIME: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 11:00 a.m.
PLACE: Mirc, 102B
TITLE: Soft Material-Enabled Flexible Electronics for Disease Diagnostics, Therapeutic and Healthcare
COMMITTEE: Dr. Woon-Hong Yeo, Chair (ME)
Dr. Todd Sulchek (ME)
Dr. Peter Hesketh (ME)
Dr. Seung Woo Lee (ME)
Dr. Markondeya Raj Pulugurtha (ECE)


The United States healthcare costs are approaching half a trillion dollars annually while mortality rates continue to rise from neurodegenerative and systemic diseases. Preemptive and therapeutics care is an alternative to expensive surgeries in order to reduce costs. Popularity with wearable devices enables in vivo biosensing platforms, but the existing devices are heavy, rigid, and bulky which inherently disrupts high-quality data recording and causes discomfort. This proposal studies flexible mechanics and advanced materials for a miniaturized, soft material platform integrated with open-mesh, serpentine structures for extreme mechanical flexibility and stretchability.
Preventative measures incorporate the meander structures with micromembrane-biosensors to analyze salivary biomarkers such as electrolytes, but the existing devices with rigid circuits and plastic sensors makes continuous monitoring difficult. Using a customized oral retainer with a low-profile, ion-selective electrode, we can detect concentrations of sodium and potassium ions as low as 1 µM in the human mouth for the diagnoses of chronic kidney failure.
However, preventative care is only half the problem for exorbitant health care costs so we dwelled into a wearable platform for ocular therapy systems enabled by electrooculograms. Our therapeutic platform aims to facilitate users from debilitating diseases such as Parkinson disease and convergence insufficiency. Our wearable “skin-like” electrodes enhance the recording and classification of ocular signals to control a wheelchair for Parkinson disease patients. Additionally, a similar platform enables us to record contrasting eye vergence motions with a virtual reality headset for home-based visual therapy.
In this proposal, a set of materials, mechanics, and system integration methods is presented and discussed to unite preemptive and therapeutic care using salivaomics and electrooculograms with wearable devices.