Current

Planning Grant: Engineering Research Center for Neural Engineered Systems with Societal Impact

Chronic and acute pain affect ~100 million people in the US and greatly increase national rates of morbidity, mortality, and disability. Pain not only negatively impacts individual lives in significant ways, it also imposes enormous national economic costs (up to $635B annually). The misuse of and addiction to opioids, such as prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl and carfentanil) is a serious national crisis. Currently ~130 Americans die of opioid overdose every day.

Planning Grant: Engineering Research Center for Neural Engineered Systems with Societal Impact

Chronic and acute pain affect ~100 million people in the US and greatly increase national rates of morbidity, mortality, and disability. Pain not only negatively impacts individual lives in significant ways, it also imposes enormous national economic costs (up to $635B annually). The misuse of and addiction to opioids, such as prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl and carfentanil) is a serious national crisis. Currently ~130 Americans die of opioid overdose every day.

Reliable Miniature Implantable Connectors with High Channel Density for Advanced Neural-Interface Applications

For patients to benefit from state-of-the-art high-channel-count neural-interface technology, translatable implant packaging technology is needed to support it. Despite advances in implant electronics, batteries, enclosures, and even high-feedthrough-count and high-feedthrough-density headers, the lack of advancement in implant connector technology has imposed an often-unacceptable tradeoff between high interface channel count and the ability to disconnect and reconnect implanted interface leads from packaged and implanted electronics.

Tissue Engineered Electronic Nerve Interface

For amputees to exploit the full capability of state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs with rapid fine-movement control and high- resolution sensory percepts, a nerve-interface with a large number of reliable and independent channels of motor and sensory information is needed. The strongest signal sources in nerves are the nodes of Ranvier, which are essentially distributed randomly within a small 3-D volume. Thus, to comprehensively engage with the electrical activity of a nerve, a neural interface should interrogate a nerve in a 3-D volume of the same scale.

Rapid On-site Detection of Fecal Indicating Bacteria for Coastal Water Quality Monitoring

Detection of fecal indicating bacteria plays an important role in water quality monitoring to ensure safe human water contact and/or drinking.  Specifically, epidemiological studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have shown strong correlations between illnesses and bacteria concentrations of Enterococci and E.

Single-Input Control of Large Microrobot Swarms using Serial Addressing for Microassembly and Biomedical Applications

This collaborative research project will create a practical control scheme for large swarms of microrobots. These robots are typically no more than a few millimeters in length, and rely on an external power source and control signal. Currently, it is possible to steer the swarm as a whole to a single destination (or perhaps, to a desired average location). However, realizing the full potential benefits of microrobot swarms will require the ability to simultaneously send independent commands, either to individual robots or to small subgroups.

Tissue Engineered Electronic Nerve Interface (TEENI)

A Tissue Engineered Electronic Nerve Interface (TEENI) combines research areas including flexbile MEMS device fabrication, Hydrogels, Magnetic Microparticle Templating, Tissue Scaffolding, and Nerve Regeneration to develop a highly compliant and versatile interface for stimulating and recording the peripheral nerve with the potential for electrode density to scale in a truly 3-Dimensionsal fashion.

Miniature Wireless Charging System for Cluttered Environments

There is an increasing demand for wireless power charging of mobile electronic devices, electric vehicles, biomedical implants and IoT sensor networks. Many of the already available wireless power transmission systems are based on inductive coupling and the size ranges in the cm’s scale, linked to the large surface area requirement. A competing technology is based on an RF approach, with small size chip but impractical power levels of pW to µW, and efficiency close to unity.