Innovative 4D biosensor technology with shape-memory recovery enables integration with implantable systems for electrical measurements.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a novel 4D biosensor for lab-on-a-chip and wearable sensor applications that is more cost-effective and easier to manufacture than current technologies. Made of dynamic, stretchable, packaged 3D-printed structures, the biosensor has shape-memory recovery. Additionally, its flexibility is tunable and can match biological materials (such as skin or brain tissue). The new biosensor design also enables the use of more complex 3D electrodes in extremely flexible and conformable structures. Thus, the device can maintain its electrical functions and return naturally to its resting state even when subjected to high strain caused by twisting, bending, stretching or compressive forces.
The UCF invention consists of a novel 4D biosensor device and microfabrication methods for creating the device. Stereolithographic (SLA) 3D printing can be used to quickly produce monolithic structures with high resolution and small feature sizes. The device may include a 3D-printed base serpentine structure, a polyimide packaging substrate, and elastomeric insulation. By accommodating the use of different resins and structural design changes, the invention enables manufacturers to tune the flexibility of the printed design to match biological materials such as skin and brain tissue.
The integration of 3D structures, LEDs, and helices followed by bending/twisting analysis depict the capability of the device to retain its resting-state conformation “memory,” giving it unique 4D characteristics. Microelectrode impedance (17.1kΩ at 1 kHz), and 85 percent and 200 percent strain measurements demonstrated the versatility of the invention. In an example application, the device comprises 3D-printed serpentine designs with various out-of-plane structures integrated onto a flexible Kapton® package with micromolded polydimethylsiloxane insulation.
The research team is looking for partners to develop the technology further for commercialization.
Stage of Development
- Simple, cost-effective design
- Customizable for many applications
- Reduces manufacturing time
- Biosensors including, hydration sensing, strain sensing, pressure sensing
- Integration with an implantable system for electrical measurements
- Optogenetic stimulation for pain relief applications
- Wearable or implantable sensors