Category Archives: Sensors

Ingestible “bacteria on a chip” detects blood, inflammation

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MIT’s Timothy Lu has developed an ingestible sensor with embedded genetically engineered bacteria to  diagnose bleeding or other gastrointestinal issues.

The “bacteria-on-a-chip” approach combines living cell sensors with ultra-low-power electronics that convert the bacterial response into a signal read by a phone.

The technology has only been tested in pigs, but shows promise in detecting gastrointestinal blood and inflammation. The researchers believe that the sensor will be able to be remain in the digestive tract for days or weeks, sending continuous signals.

Click to view MIT video


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24, 2019 at the MIT Media Lab.  Speakers include:  Mary Lou Jepsen – George ChurchRoz PicardNathan IntratorKeith JohnsonJuan EnriquezJohn MattisonRoozbeh GhaffariPoppy Crum

Cheap, noninvasive patch monitors glucose

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UCSD’s Joe Wang‘s needless adhesive glucose monitor has begun a phase I clinical trial.  The small patch measures insulin levels through sweat on the skin, eliminating the need for a skin prick.  The paper – tattoo is printed with two integrated electrodes that apply a small amount of electrical current.  Glucose molecules residing below the skin are forced to rise to the surface, allowing blood sugar to be measured.

Through its SENSOR study,  the team s testing the tattoo-like sensor’s accuracy, compared to a traditional glucometer. The  trial is enrolling 50 adults, ages 18 to 75, with type 1 or 2 diabetes, or diabetes due to other causes. Participants wear a sensor while fasting, and up to 2 hours after eating.

The goal is a cheap, noninvasive, discreet, user friendly glucose monitor that provides continuous measurement.  The sensor currently provides only one readout.


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24, 2019 at the MIT Media Lab.  Speakers include:  Mary Lou Jepsen – George ChurchRoz PicardNathan IntratorKeith JohnsonJuan EnriquezJohn MattisonRoozbeh GhaffariPoppy Crum

Carla Pugh on hacking healthcare with sensors | ApplySci @ Stanford

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Carla Pugh discussed hacking healthcare with sensors at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley conference on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University:


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24, 2019 at the MIT Media Lab.  Speakers include:  Mary Lou Jepsen – George ChurchRoz PicardNathan IntratorKeith JohnsonJuan EnriquezJohn MattisonRoozbeh GhaffariPoppy Crum

BP cuff + accelerometer detect early preeclampsia

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Purdue’s Craig Goergen has developed a sensor-based supine pressor test to detect preeclampsia.

The technology measures and notes the difference between a pregnant woman’s diastolic blood pressure while in two different positions, using a BP wrist cuff and accelerometer on the stomach.

The two devices are connected to an app which guides the wearer, and ensures that the readings are taken in correct positions. Diastolic pressure differences are the definitive way to detect preecamplsia, which according to the researchers, can be seen and treated earlier with the simple system.

Click to view Purdue video


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24, 2019 at the MIT Media Lab.  Speakers include:  George ChurchRoz PicardNathan IntratorKeith JohnsonJuan EnriquezJohn MattisonRoozbeh GhaffariPoppy Crum

Gait sensor could detect Alzheimer’s, identify fall risk

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Newcastle University’s Lynn Rochester has studied the use of wearable sensors to identify walking characteristics as clinical biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease.  The same sensors can detect gait changes that require intervention to prevent falls and prolong independence.

According to Rochester, “free-living gait analysis at home is particularly useful as it allows objective observation of an individual’s day-to-day activity. It also has the benefit of providing continuous data over a prolonged time that may be more sensitive than one-off assessments.”

She believes that continuous walking sensors could make clinical trials more efficient, and support clinician decisions.


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24 2018 at the MIT Media Lab

Saliva-monitoring chip to track bone loss, diabetes, inflammatory markers

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Washington University’s Erica Lynn Scheller and Shantanu Chakrabartty are developing a gum or dental device-worn sensor to detect early signs of  disease by analyzing saliva or gingival crevicular fluid.

The sensor plus electronic chip is a few millimeters-cube in volume and measures disease-specific peptides.  A wireless ultrasound device reads the peptide levels and connects to the cloud.

The first use will be monitoring  bone breakdown during periodontitis. The goal is to track multiple inflammatory and stress markers and to monitor diabetes.

Click to view Washington University video


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24 2018 at the MIT Media Lab

Muscle-force measuring wearable

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University of Wisconsin’s Darryl Thelen and Jack Martin have developed a noninvasive approach to measuring tendon tension while a person is active.

Current wearables can measure movement, but not muscle force.

The technology provides insight into motor control and human movement mechanics, and can be applied in orthopedics, rehabilitation, ergonomics, and sports.

The device is mounted on skin over a tendon, lightly tapping it 50 times per second. Each tap initiates a wave in the tendon, and two miniature accelerometers determine how quickly it travels. This assesses  force via vibrational characteristics of the tendon change during loading.  Tensile stress is then measured.

It has been used to measure forces on the Achilles tendon, patellar and hamstring tendons. Changes were observed when  gait was modified, which can enable clinicians to optimize the treatment of musculoskeletal disease and injuries. It may also be useful to determine when a repaired tendon is  healed.


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 24, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab

DARPA’s Justin Sanchez on driving and reshaping biotechnology | ApplySci @ Stanford

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DARPA Biological Technologies Office Director Dr. Justin Sanchez on driving and reshaping biotechnology.  Recorded at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley conference on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University.


Join ApplySci at the 9th Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 25, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab

Throat-worn sensor-sticker transforms stroke rehab

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John Rogers‘ latest stretchable electronics breakthrough will transform stroke rehabilitation.

The throat-worn wearable, developed with the  Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, measures patients’ swallowing ability and patterns of speech, and aids in aphasia diagnosis.

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab uses the throat sensor in conjunction with Rogers-developed biosensors on the legs, arms and chest to monitor stroke patients’ recovery progress. Data is sent to clinicians’ phones and computers, providing real-time, quantitative, full-body analysis of patients’ advanced physical and physiological responses.

Click to view Shirley Ryan Ability Lab video

Click to view John Rogers’ talk at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech conference, on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Shreyas Shah– Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide  – Peter Fischer – Ed Boyden

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Tissue-paper sensor tracks pulse, finger and eye movement, gait

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University of Washington’s Jae-Hyun Chung has developed a  disposable wearable sensor made with tissue paper. It can detect a heartbeat, finger force, finger movement, eyeball movement, gait patterns, and other actions.

Tearing the nanocomposite paper breaks its fibers and makes it act as a sensor. It is light, flexible and cheap, and meant to be thrown away after one use.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Shreyas Shah– Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide  – Peter Fischer – Ed Boyden

**LAST TICKETS AVAILABLE