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"XYZ ...for the Rest of Us"

Development of Organic Sensors and Electronics
in Medicine and for Point-of-Care Patient
Health Monitoring in Real Time

by Vijay K. Varadan

Sunday, May 24, 2009 | San Francisco, CA

Vijay VaradanA new paradigm in healthcare, driven by cost and quality issues, is now emerging, which enables continuous point-of-care (POC) monitoring of patient’s vital signs such as heart rate (ECG), respiration, body temperature, skin response (GSR), and motion activities (EMG). Real-time health monitoring could ensure the effectiveness of therapy by providing prevention, and early risk detection, which will significantly reduce healthcare costs by avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations. The key to POC monitoring is the development of cost-effective, light-weight and low-power consumable sensor devices that can be seamlessly embedded into a daily outfit. Latest advances in organic electronics have the ability to realize light and cost-effective smart fabrics with embedded electronics and sensors combined with wireless communications. In this presentation, we introduce several organic based sensor devices capable of measuring temperature, strain, pH and potassium ion concentrations, each of which will enable us to monitor the patient’s respiration rate, skin/body temperature, and the onset of Acute Myocardial Ischemia. It is expected that these flexible organic sensors can easily fit on garment with wireless instrument, and this sensory suit will be ideal for the real-time monitoring of vital kinematics and signs at remote locations for activity and location monitoring. Selected movies illustrating the applications of both invasive and non-invasive wireless sensor systems to patients and surgical procedures will be shown at the talk.

Vijay K. Varadan is currently the Twenty-First Century Endowed Chair in Nano-and Bio-Technology and Medicine, and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering (College of Engineering) and Neurosurgery (College of Medicine) at University of Arkansas. He is also a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees in Nano-, and Bio-Technologies and Medicine. He joined the University of Arkansas in January 2005 after serving on the faculty of Cornell University, Ohio State University, and Pennsylvania State University for the past 32 years.

Dr. Varadan is also the Director of the Center of Excellence for Nano-, Micro-, and Neuro-Electronics, Sensors and Systems, and the Director of the High Density Electronics Center. He has concentrated on the design and development of various electronic, acoustic, and structural composites, smart materials, structures, and devices including sensors, transducers, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), synthesis and large scale fabrication of carbon nanotubes, NanoElectroMechanical Systems (NEMS), microwave, acoustic and ultrasonic wave absorbers and filters. He has developed neurostimulator, wireless microsensors and systems for sensing and control of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, glucose in the blood and Alzheimer’s disease. He is also developing both silicon and organic based wireless sensor systems with RFID for human gait analysis and sleep disorders and various neurological disorders.

Dr. Varadan is a founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Smart Materials and Structures. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nanomedical Science in Engineering and Medicine. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Microlithography, Microfabrication, and Microsystems. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Computational Methods. He has published more than 500 journal papers and 13 books. He has 13 patents pertinent to conducting polymers, smart structures, smart antennas, phase shifters, carbon nanotubes, and implantable devices for Parkinson’s patients, MEMS accelerometers, and gyroscopes. He is a fellow of SPIE, ASME, the Institute of Physics, and the Acoustical Society of America. He has many visiting professorship appointments in leading schools overseas.

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