The role of flexible electronics in health monitoring and diagnosis

ECE Seminar: The role of flexible electronics in health monitoring and diagnosis

Starts at: December 1, 2016 4:30 PM

Ends at: 6:00 PM

Location: Scaife Hall 125

Speaker: Dr. Ana Claudia Arias

Affiliation: Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences University of California at Berkeley Faculty Director - Berkeley Wireless Research Center

Link to Abstract

Link to Video (1)



Medical devices, used for diagnosis and health monitoring, are fabricated with the same design rules and manufacturing technologies used in consumer electronic devices, with the added need for reliability and durability under the harsh hospital conditions. As a result, medical devices are heavy, intimidating and expensive. Considering that the human population is highly diverse and that ages and sizes of patients span from tiny newborns to fully-grown elderly, it is surprising that up to date medical devices still follow the one-size-fits all design approach. Often, signals are compromised by the mismatch between rigid and bulky medical hardware and the flexible soft human body. In some cases, medical conditions such as pressure ulcers and skin wounds cannot be monitored with electronic devices because the devices themselves would contribute to the advancement of the condition. In other cases, sophisticated diagnostic technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) cannot be used in pediatric patients because of the weight of the hardware. The weight and bulkiness of medical devices can also limit augmented rehabilitation. Customized, made-to-fit, confortable medical devices could revolutionize the way medical conditions are diagnosed, treated and monitored. The realization of such vision requires the development of new sensing platforms, new manufacturing capabilities and a fresh look at design and packaging of medical devices. In this talk I will describe our efforts on design and prototyping of flexible and printed electronics for medical application. I will discuss materials choice, printing methods and application needs.


Dr. Ana Claudia Arias is an Associate Professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at the University of California in Berkeley and a faculty director at the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC). Prior to joining the University of California she was the Manager of the Printed Electronic Devices Area and a Member of Research Staff at PARC, a Xerox Company, Palo Alto, CA. She went to PARC from Plastic Logic in Cambridge, UK where she led the semiconductor group. She received her PhD on semiconducting polymer blends for photovoltaic devices from the Physics Department at the University of Cambridge, UK. Prior to that, she received her master and bachelor degrees in Physics from the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. Her research focuses on devices based on solution processed materials and applications development for flexible sensors and electronic systems. Ana Claudia is a member of the technical advisory board of Linde Nanomaterials, and the chair of ThinFilm Electronics Technical Advisory Council.