Research

  • Flexible E-Textile Antennas and Sensors. We are working on a new class of E-textile antennas and sensors based on embroidered conductive threads. Our threads, referred to as E-threads, offer high surface conductivity (nearly equivalent to copper), are flexible and mechanically strong, and can be inconspicuously integrated into garments and other fabrics to realize several functionalities.  As such, our technology offers very attractive mechanical and RF performance when compared to traditional rigid antennas and circuits. Example E-thread applications that we are working on include: (1) Wearable sensors for monitoring body kinematics, (2) Reconfigurable Origami-based antennas, (3) Antenna-impregnated mats for recumbent height monitoring, and (4) Antennas for body-worn communications.

  • Wireless Brain Implants. We are developing wireless and batteryless brain implants for continuous monitoring of neural activity with minimum impact to the individual’s activity. Operation lies on a microwave backscattering technique that incorporates a wearable interrogator to wirelessly turn on the implant and collect the backscattered neuropotentials. This is a game-changing capability for patients with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, etc.

  • Magneto-Inductive Monitoring of Joint Kinematics. We are developing a new class of wearable coils that seamlessly monitor joint flexion in the individual’s natural environment while overcoming shortcomings in the state-of-the-art. Our approach relies onFaraday’s Law of Induction and employs wrap-around transmit and receive coils that get angularly misaligned as the joint flexes.

  • Bio-Matched Electromagnetics. We are developing body-worn antennas that are composed of water-filled holes to mimic the frequency-dependent permittivity of the underlying tissue over their entire bandwidth. In doing so, unprecedented efficiencies are achieved for transmission toward the human body across ultra-wide bandwidths.

  • Stray Energy Transfer During Electrosurgery. We are exploring the underlying mechanism of injuries associated with electrosurgery. Our endoscopy studies demonstrate that unintended RF coupling occurs, increasing tissue temperature alongside the breathing tube, and potentially causing unintentional burns. Our tonsillectomy studies demonstrate that unwanted RF energy gets coupled into adjacent metal-based objects (e.g., mouth retractor), potentially causing adverse effects, such as dysgeusia.

  • In Vitro and In Vivo TestingWe are validating our body-area antennas and sensors in: a) tissue-emulating phantoms, b) animals, c) post-mortem human subjects (PMHS), and d) human subjects.