Tattoo-like devices for wireless pregnancy monitoring
A tiny tattoo-like electronic device could someday provide wireless pregnancy monitoring of maternal and fetal vital signs, giving expectant mother's more mobility and improving access to prenatal care in remote areas. Noting that mobile phone usage is often high even in areas with limited health care, professor Todd Coleman said the device could transmit bodily signals to a mobile phone, securely connecting the patient to a doctor thousands of miles away. Credit: Photo courtesy of Bioengineering Professor Todd Coleman, UC San Diego Jacobs Shool of Engineering.
The University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bioengineering Professor Todd Coleman, in collaboration with Materials Science and Engineering Professor John A. Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Epidermal Electronics for Continuous Pregnancy Monitoring."
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Coleman's project is one of over 100 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Grand Challenges Explorations encourages individuals worldwide to expand the pipeline of ideas where creative, unorthodox thinking is most urgently needed," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We're excited to provide additional funding for select grantees so that they can continue to advance their idea towards global impact."
To receive funding, Coleman and Rogers along with other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, immunization and nutrition. Applications for the current open round, Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9, will be accepted through May 15, 2012.
Coleman's project will advance the epidemiology of pre-term birth by using flexible tattoo-like devices to continuously monitor uterine contractions, fetal heart rate and oxygen, and maternal heart rate and body temperature. In addition, their technology has the potential to enable non-invasive, wireless and continuous pregnancy monitoring of at-risk patients. The project uses a skin-mounted electronics system developed in collaboration with Rogers at the University of Illinois. The wearable patch of tiny circuits, sensors, and wireless transmitters sticks to the skin like a temporary tattoo, stretching and flexing with the skin while maintaining high performance. This approach builds upon a class of flexible electronics technologies that Rogers has pioneered.
"These systems provide fundamentally new and powerful ways to integrate electronics with the skin, in a manner that blurs the distinction between the two. The ideas are sufficiently simple that they open up new, exciting opportunities to address, cost effectively, important problems in global health," said Rogers.
In the first phase of the project, Coleman and Rogers will partner with Dr. Gladys Ramos and her colleagues from the Department of Reproductive Medicine, UC San Diego Health System, to monitor patients in labor and determine how well the device's sensors perform compared to standard clinical technology.
"Our goal is that we will accurately be able to detect the signs and symptoms of preterm labor in a reliable and non-invasive manner," said Ramos.
Coleman's lab at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is extending the robustness and capabilities of these devices to match relevant clinical applications, while maintaining accuracy and sensitivity. For example, Coleman is using his expertise in signal processing and neuroscience to design novel sensors and wireless radios that can effectively acquire, process, and transmit bodily signals during natural skin deformations.
"We see this as a compelling opportunity to move these prototypes from the bench top to the bedside, where our capabilities uniquely match an unmet need," said Coleman. "First, the form factor and accuracy of our device will uniquely be able to monitor the pregnant mother in a multi-modal, continuous, and most importantly, unobtrusive manner. Secondly, there is tremendous potential for developing countries, where healthcare access is limited but mobile phone usage is high. Our goal is for the electronic tattoo to transmit bodily signals to the mobile phone, which then uploads to the cloud, so that a doctor thousands of miles away can securely access the information and provide clinically actionable advice. We envision the phrase, 'Take two of these and call me in the morning,' being replaced with, 'Wear this tattoo and I'll call you when there's a problem,'" said Coleman.
MC10, the leader in commercializing thin, conformal, epidermal electronics systems, will work closely with Coleman, Rogers, and their partners to speedily develop, test, and deploy this revolutionary approach to advancing the quality of pregnancy monitoring in underserved populations.
Provided by University of California - San Diego
- Grant funds feasibility study of microneedle patches for polio vaccination Nov 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Smart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattoo (w/ video) Aug 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Electronic tattoo monitors brain, heart and muscles (w/ video) Jan 30, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations Rewards Bold Ideas May 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Smelly socks could be a key to preventing malaria deaths in the developing world Jul 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
15 hours ago From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Scientists investigating the interaction of a group of proteins in the brain responsible for protecting nerve cells from damage have identified a new target that could increase cell survival.
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
New findings by researchers carrying out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's Advanced Photon Source (APS) help explain why some drugs that interact with two kinds of human serotonin ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Peptide molecules derived from the body's natural immune system can help boost the body's defence against life-threatening blood poisoning, joint University research has uncovered.
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A new Montréal study conducted by Dr. May Faraj, associate research professor at the Université de Montréal and invited scientist at the IRCM, along with her research team and medical collaborators, shows ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
17 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0