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Implantable MEMS tactile sensing system 

Paralysis is a substantial health problem all over the world. In the United States alone, approximately 5.4 million people live with paralysis – nearly 1 in 50 people. To restore daily activities for paralyzed people both controlled stimulation of muscle to induce movement and somatosensory feedback to the brain of hand-object interaction are required. Utilizing brain machine interface (BMI)-controlled stimulation, paralyzed individuals can regain hand movement with their native hand without sensation. However, sensory feedback into these BMI-controlled stimulators remains an unmet challenge. While wearable sensors have emerged as potential solutions for delivering tactile functionality noninvasively, they come with certain drawbacks, including limited longevity, uncomfortable materials, and the added bulk of sensorized gloves. 

neurotech implantable
neurotech ultra low energey consumption
wireless

Our team’s approach deviates from current trends:

We aim to develop the first implantable sensor system to restore touch to reanimated hands.

This ambitious goal requires interdisciplinary collaboration to integrate an implantable micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) sensor for movement sensing and neuron stimulation, ultra-low power wireless integrated circuits for signal and power communication and in-depth study of the physiology involved in neuron and muscle behavior. Our mission is to benefit the paralyzed people and help them to live a better life.

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Biosensor for point of care sepsis diagnosis

Sepsis, a life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to infection damaging its own tissues and organs, affects nearly 50 million people annually, resulting in approximately 11 million deaths. The current 'gold standard' for diagnosing sepsis is blood culture, which requires 24-72 hours to yield results. Notably, each hour of delay in treatment increases the mortality rate by 6%. 

To facilitate timely treatment, a point-of-care diagnostic platform is essential, with the primary challenge being the need for extremely high sensitivity. Our approach combines semiconductor manufacturing with DNA self-assembly nanotechnology to achieve sensitivity at the level of a single pathogen. This technology holds the potential to save millions of lives in the future.

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DNA nanotechnology for neurodegenerative disease therapeutics

Neurodegenerative diseases can cause significant impairments in movement (ataxias) and mental functioning (dementias), including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington's disease, etc. 

Our research is pioneering the use of DNA nanostructures to repair damaged neurons. DNA origami, a groundbreaking technique in nanotechnology and synthetic biology, exploits DNA's unique properties to craft complex, self-assembling nanostructures. By leveraging DNA’s base-pairing capabilities - adenine with thymine, and cytosine with guanine - we design sequences that specifically fold and combine to form diverse shapes and structures at the nanoscale. By integrating biomolecules on the neuron surfaces, DNA origami offers innovative strategies for neuronal repair.

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