PI: Rahul Panat
Co-PI(s): Gary Fedder
University: Carnegie Mellon University

Remote monitoring of patient vital parameters is revolutionizing healthcare by improving patient quality of life and reducing healthcare costs. Current state-of-the-art devices that monitor biomarkers, however, are bulky and uncomfortable to use over long periods of time due to limitations in their manufacturing technology. The PIs propose to collaborate with Allegheny Health Network (AHN), a PA-based healthcare provider, to develop a 3D printing process for compact, wearable, and flexible electronic decals (a.k.a. tattoos) for in-situ monitoring of human biomarkers. The PIs will use aerosol jet 3D printing technique to connect and integrate multiple sensors on a soft substrate that is comfortable to the skin for long-term use.

The current research builds upon an existing collaboration between AHN and the PIs, and will focus on the design and fabrication of decals for electrophysiological sensing and motion sensing. The decals will be tested for mechanical and electrical stability under a high strain. Note that the PIs have a strong complementary expertise in the fields of advanced manufacturing (Panat) and device design and testing (Fedder). The proposed research will foster collaboration between industry and academia within Pennsylvania, improve public health and healthcare infrastructure, train the next generation of engineers from the commonwealth, and seed research that attracts funding from federal agencies. The PITA grant will help PIs obtain the proof-of-concept data which will be used to apply for larger grants with Health and Human Services (HHS), National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) R01 program, and National Science Foundation’s (NSF) LEAP-HI program by the end of the project period.