Research

Research Interests:

Biosensors, Chemical Sensors, Wearable Health Care Devices, Medical Device Design, Mobile Health, Data Science, Advanced Sensing Materials

Research Topics:

Advanced Sensing Materials Development

Nano and hybrid sensing materials: nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanowires, nanotubes, graphene, and 2D materials are of high interest because their novel physical and chemical properties make them very useful in many applications including electronics, optics, and sensors. To achieve certain functions, e.g. chemical or biosensing, a bottom-up approach is usually required to engineer the nanomaterials during synthesis, such as assembly, combination, and grafting.

Hierarchical colorimetric sensing materials: Traditionally, colorimetry is an analytical technique to determine the concentration of colored chemical compounds in solution through measuring the optical absorbance at a certain wavelength. To make the colorimetry compatible with the wearable platform, two important transitions need to be made: 1) from solution phase to solid phase; 2) from 3D configuration to 2D configuration.

Wearable Sensing Technologies Development

Flexible thin-film transistor sensing: Thin-film transistor (TFT) can be used to build flexible sensors for wearables. But conventional thin-film transistors are less tolerant to mechanical deformations such as bending and stretching, which limits their application in wearable electronics. TFT with nano-veneers-like structures can combine the structural continuity and processability of polymers with the high conductivity and functionality of discontinuous nanomaterials. These nano-veneers are particularly attractive in areas of TFT-based flexible sensors fabrication.

Colorimetric array sensing: The colorimetric array sensing approach is a miniaturized and high-throughput chemical sensing platform for specific and sensitive detection of multiple analytes simultaneously. It configurates the flat LED light source, the sensor cartridge, and the CMOS imager in a tiny “sandwich” structure for multiplex colorimetric sensing.

Micro Quartz tuning fork (MQTF) sensing: The micro quartz tuning fork (MQTF) based sensing platform can translate the analytes binding events into resonant oscillating frequency shift. It is attractive for developing miniaturized sensors because MQTF is intrinsically tiny, low-cost, and highly sensitive to slight mass change. With the advance of film coating technologies, such as molecularly imprinted polymer coating, the surface of MQTF prongs can be modified to achieve high selectivity to different chemicals.

Wearable Devices and Data Science

Wearable device design and integration: Wearable system design and integration requires interdisciplinary knowledge and teamwork. As one category of medical device, wearable healthcare devices development must follow the conventional process: concept phase, development phase, verification and validation phase. One needs to have deep understanding of the needs, the users, the technologies, and the regulations to develop a successful medical device.

Wearable-based data science: Wearable devices and their networks could capture and record continuous streams of health data about the patient. To make evidence-based clinical decisions, it requires to process large amounts of data to create new insights and build predictive models to guide personalized treatment. The scientific methods in data science offers effective tools for developing algorithms to extract knowledge and insights from the raw and unstructured data generated by wearables.