“Soft Biomedical Devices for Modulating, Measuring and Exploiting Thermal Physiology”
Host: Lori Setton (WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Abstract The intimate physical coupling of soft sensors and actuators with biological tissue represents a powerful avenue for providing physiological insights and altering biological function. This talk will describe mechanically-soft, compliant biomedical devices which modulate, measure, and exploit thermal functions in soft tissue for applications in health monitoring and therapeutics. This work spans the development of stimuli-responsive materials, 3D mesoscale assembly techniques, and integration and fabrication schemes for biomedical systems. These advances in materials engineering form the basis for soft, flexible bio-integrated device systems for 1) targeted, on-demand blocking of peripheral nerve activity via a soft microfluidic cooler comprising naturally bioresorbable materials, 2) non-invasive in situ biophysical/biochemical analysis of the epidermis and sweating response via skin-mounted devices comprising soft microfluidic valves, pumps, collection chambers, wireless digital thermography systems, and water barrier schemes, and 3) physiologically-responsive, shape-changing electronic systems which soften and mechanically deploy into preprogrammed states upon implantation.
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