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New Liquid Metal Wearable Pressure Sensor Created for Health Monitoring Applications
Soft pressure sensors have received significant research attention in a variety of fields, including soft robotics, electronic skin, and wearable electronics. Wearable soft pressure sensors have great potential for the real-time health monitoring and for the early diagnosis of diseases. A KAIST research team led by Professor Inkyu Park from the Department of Mechanical Engineering developed a highly sensitive wearable pressure sensor for health monitoring applications. This work was reported in Advanced Healthcare Materials on November 21 as a front cover article. This technology is capable of sensitive, precise, and continuous measurement of physiological and physical signals and shows great potential for health monitoring applications and the early diagnosis of diseases. A soft pressure sensor is required to have high compliance, high sensitivity, low cost, long-term performance stability, and environmental stability in order to be employed for continuous health monitoring. Conventional solid-state soft pressure sensors using functional materials including carbon nanotubes and graphene have showed great sensing performance. However, these sensors suffer from limited stretchability, signal drifting, and long-term instability due to the distance between the stretchable substrate and the functional materials. To overcome these issues, liquid-state electronics using liquid metal have been introduced for various wearable applications. Of these materials, Galinstan, a eutectic metal alloy of gallium, indium, and tin, has great mechanical and electrical properties that can be employed in wearable applications. But today’s liquid metal-based pressure sensors have low-pressure sensitivity, limiting their applicability for health monitoring devices. The research team developed a 3D-printed rigid microbump array-integrated, liquid metal-based soft pressure sensor. With the help of 3D printing, the integration of a rigid microbump array and the master mold for a liquid metal microchannel could be achieved simultaneously, reducing the complexity of the manufacturing process. Through the integration of the rigid microbump and the microchannel, the new pressure sensor has an extremely low detection limit and enhanced pressure sensitivity compared to previously reported liquid metal-based pressure sensors. The proposed sensor also has a negligible signal drift over 10,000 cycles of pressure, bending, and stretching and exhibited excellent stability when subjected to various environmental conditions. These performance outcomes make it an excellent sensor for various health monitoring devices. First, the research team demonstrated a wearable wristband device that can continuously monitor one’s pulse during exercise and be employed in a noninvasive cuffless BP monitoring system based on PTT calculations. Then, they introduced a wireless wearable heel pressure monitoring system that integrates three 3D-BLiPS with a wireless communication module. Professor Park said, “It was possible to measure health indicators including pulse and blood pressure continuously as well as pressure of body parts using our proposed soft pressure sensor. We expect it to be used in health care applications, such as the prevention and the monitoring of the pressure-driven diseases such as pressure ulcers in the near future. There will be more opportunities for future research including a whole-body pressure monitoring system related to other physical parameters.” This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. < Figure 1. The front cover image of Advanced Healthcare Materials, Volume 8, Issue 22. > < Figure 2. Highly sensitive liquid metal-based soft pressure sensor integrated with 3D-printed microbump array. > < Figure 3. High pressure sensitivity and reliable sensing performances of the proposed sensor and wireless heel pressure monitoring application. > -ProfileProfessor Inkyu ParkMicro/Nano Transducers Laboratoryhttp://mintlab1.kaist.ac.kr/ Department of Mechanical EngineeringKAIST
Mathematical Modeling Makes a Breakthrough for a New CRSD Medication
PhD Candidate Dae Wook Kim (Left) and Professor Jae Kyoung Kim (Right) - Systems approach reveals photosensitivity and PER2 level as determinants of clock-modulator efficacy - Mathematicians’ new modeling has identified major sources of interspecies and inter-individual variations in the clinical efficacy of a clock-modulating drug: photosensitivity and PER2 level. This enabled precision medicine for circadian disruption. A KAIST mathematics research team led by Professor Jae Kyoung Kim, in collaboration with Pfizer, applied a combination of mathematical modeling and simulation tools for circadian rhythms sleep disorders (CRSDs) to analyze the animal data generated by Pfizer. This study was reported in Molecular Systems Biology as the cover article on July 8. Pharmaceutical companies have conducted extensive studies on animals to determine the candidacy of this new medication. However, the results of animal testing do not always translate to the same effects in human trials. Furthermore, even between humans, efficacy differs across individuals depending on an individual’s genetic and environmental factors, which require different treatment strategies. To overcome these obstacles, KAIST mathematicians and their collaborators developed adaptive chronotherapeutics to identify precise dosing regimens that could restore normal circadian phase under different conditions. A circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living creatures, including humans. A biological clock in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus in the human brain sets the time for various human behaviors such as sleep. A disruption of the endogenous timekeeping system caused by changes in one’s life pattern leads to advanced or delayed sleep-wake cycle phase and a desynchronization between sleep-wake rhythms, resulting in CRSDs. To restore the normal timing of sleep, timing of the circadian clock could be adjusted pharmacologically. Pfizer identified PF-670462, which can adjust the timing of circadian clock by inhibiting the core clock kinase of the circadian clock (CK1d/e). However, the efficacy of PF-670462 significantly differs between nocturnal mice and diurnal monkeys, whose sleeping times are opposite. The research team discovered the source of such interspecies variations in drug response by performing thousands of virtual experiments using a mathematical model, which describes biochemical interactions among clock molecules and PF-670462. The result suggests that the effect of PF-670462 is reduced by light exposure in diurnal primates more than in nocturnal mice. This indicates that the strong counteracting effect of light must be considered in order to effectively regulate the circadian clock of diurnal humans using PF-670462. Furthermore, the team also found the source of inter-patients variations in drug efficacy using virtual patients whose circadian clocks were disrupted due to various mutations. The degree of perturbation in the endogenous level of the core clock molecule PER2 affects the efficacy. This explains why the clinical outcomes of clock-modulating drugs are highly variable and certain subtypes are unresponsive to treatment. Furthermore, this points out the limitations of current treatment strategies tailored to only the patient’s sleep and wake time but not to the molecular cause of sleep disorders. PhD candidate Dae Wook Kim, who is the first author, said that this motivates the team to develop an adaptive chronotherapy, which identifies a personalized optimal dosing time of day by tracking the sleep-wake up time of patients via a wearable device and allows for a precision medicine approach for CRSDs. Professor Jae Kyoung Kim said, "As a mathematician, I am excited to help enable the advancement of a new drug candidate, which can improve the lives of so many patients. I hope this result promotes more collaborations in this translational research.” This research was supported by a Pfizer grant to KAIST (G01160179), the Human Frontiers Science Program Organization (RGY0063/2017), and a National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea Grant (NRF-2016 RICIB 3008468 and NRF-2017-Fostering Core Leaders of the Future Basic Science Program/ Global Ph.D. Fellowship Program). Figure 1. Interspecies and Inter-patients Variations in PF-670462 Efficacy Figure 2. Journal Cover Page Publication: Dae Wook Kim, Cheng Chang, Xian Chen, Angela C Doran, Francois Gaudreault, Travis Wager, George J DeMarco, and Jae Kyoung Kim. 2019. Systems approach reveals photosensitivity and PER2 level as determinants of clock-modulator efficacy. Molecular Systems Biology. EMBO Press, Heidelberg, Germany, Vol. 15, Issue No. 7, Article, 16 pages. https://doi.org/10.15252/msb.20198838 Profile: Prof. Jae Kyoung Kim, PhD email@example.com http://mathsci.kaist.ac.kr/~jaekkim Associate Professor Department of Mathematical Sciences Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) http://kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea Profile: Dae Wook Kim, PhD Candidate firstname.lastname@example.org http://mathsci.kaist.ac.kr/~jaekkim PhD Candidate Department of Mathematical Sciences Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) http://kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea Profile: Dr. Cheng Chang, PhD email@example.com Associate Director of Clinical Pharmacology Clinical Pharmacology, Global Product Development Pfizer https://www.pfizer.com/ Groton 06340, USA (END)
MoU by KAIST-Seoul-Seocho-gu for the 4th Industrial Revolution
The opening ceremony of the Yangjae R&CD Innovation Hub was held in Seoul on December 5. More than 400 guests came to the ceremony from major institutes and companies that are based in the hub. KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin, the Mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park, and the Mayor of Seocho-gu, Eun Hee Cho, signed an MoU for Seoul to be the leading city for successfully realizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The three organizations aim to cooperate with one another in various areas, including an economic boost for local job creation, technology development, and the promotion of projects through an industry-academia-institute network and fostering manpower. Yangjae R&CD is the first facility specializing in and dedicated for Artificial Intelligence, which is the major topic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The hub is comprised of enterprises specializing in AI, open co-work spaces, conference rooms, an open networking lounge, and spaces for fostering professional manpower. The hub will recruit additional enterprises and individuals who wish to move in. KAIST, an institute containing professors and researchers in the field of AI, and Modulabs, an organization becoming distinguished in AI research, will be in charge of operating the facility together. The Yangjae R&CD Innovation Hub will operate a professional training program with participation from KAIST professors, which aims to produce 500 professionals in AI research and development by 2020. It will also provide inexpensive space as well as consultations and venture capital to startup and venture companies. It plans to find and foster 50 innovation companies by 2020. In particular, the hub will operate a course for new AI business models 24 times over three years. The hub also offers job consultations, academic conferences, public space for companies residing in the hub, a free GPU cluster server, technical training, seminars, forums, investment attraction, overseas expansion, and one-to-one technical consultations. The Yangjae R&CD Zone is the place established for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Seoul. R&CD is a concept combining Research and Development, Connection, Companies, Community, and Culture. Seoul aims to create the Yangjae Zone as an urban innovation hub for facilitating industry-academia linkage as well as establishing a startup-settlement-growth technical ecosystem.
Prof. Sang-Min Bae Receives 2017 iF Design Award
Prof. Sang-Min Bae and his research team from the Industrial Design Department of KAIST submitted a winning entry to the 2017 iF Design Award named ‘Culture BOXCHOOL’. The iF Design Award is an internationally renowned design contest that is recognized as one of the top three design awards in the world along with the Red Dot Design Award and the IDEA Design Award. It has been held annually by iF International Forum Design since 1953. A total of 5,575 entries from 59 countries entered the last competition. Culture BOXCHOOL is a modular container space platform designed for culture sharing in isolated areas. It is delivered as a standard shipping container along with its subsidiary modular parts and it transforms into a gallery, office, or classroom. These modular parts build the interior and exterior by attaching them to the corner castings, which are standard parts on all shipping containers. Two Cultural BOXCHOOL containers can be transformed into three different types of layouts. The containers can generate their own energy using solar panels that provide sustainable energy to equipment inside. Additionally, hot humid air can flow out through the attic vent, doors, and windows. “With Culture BOXCHOOL, you can easily and quickly create spaces such as offices and classrooms, or you can easily disassemble and move them to another location. Thus, it can provide everyone with equal educational opportunities and cultural enjoyment regardless of their geographical location. In addition, because it produces its own energy, it is expected to create a cultural space in a relatively harsh environment such as in developing countries. These social and economic values of Culture BOXCHOOL seem to be what led to us winning the contest. I will continue to strive to create the world’s best designs for needy people.” Professor Bae said. The ID+IM design laboratory, a research team led by Professor Bae, has been studying philanthropy design since 2005, working on solving various problems throughout society through innovative design. They have received more than 50 awards from the most prestigious design competitions in the world.
Photonic crystals allow the fabrication of miniaturized spectrometers
By Courtesy of Nanowerk Photonic crystals allow the fabrication of miniaturized spectrometers (Nanowerk Spotlight) Spectrometers are used in materials analysis by measuring the absorption of light by a surface or chemical substance. These instruments measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. In conventional spectrometers, a diffraction grating splits the light source into several beams with different propagation directions according to the wavelength of the light. Thus, to achieve sufficient spatial separation for intensity measurements at a small slit, a long light path – i.e., a large instrument – is required. However, for lab-on-a-chip or microTAS (total analysis system) applications, the spectrometer must be integrated into a sub-centimeter scale device to produce a stand-alone platform. To achieve this, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) propose a new paradigm in which the spectrometer is based on an array of photonic crystals with different bandgaps. "Because photonic crystals refelct light of different wavelengths selectively depending on their bandgaps, we can generate reflected light spanning the entire wavelength range for analysis at different spatial positions using patterned photonic crystals," Seung-Man Yang, Director of the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Intergrated Optofluidic Systems and Professor of the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at KAIST, tells Nanowerk. "Therefore, when the light source impinges on the patterned photonic crytals, we can construct the spectrum using the reflection intensity profile from the constituent photonic crystals." Photonic crystals – also known as photonic band gap material – are similar to semiconductors, only that the electrons are replaced by photons (i.e. light). By creating periodic structures out of materials with contrast in their dielectric constants, it becomes possible to guide the flow of light through the photonic crystals in a way similar to how electrons are directed through doped regions of semiconductors. The photonic band gap (that forbids propagation of a certain frequency range of light) gives rise to distinct optical phenomena and enables one to control light with amazing facility and produce effects that are impossible with conventional optics. To demonstrate this new concept based on patterned photonic crystals, Yang and his group used non-close-packed colloidal crystals of silica particles dispersed in photocurable resin. Due to the repulsive interparticle potential, monodisperse silica particles spontaneously crystallize into non-close-packed face-centered cubic (fcc) structures at volume fractions above 0.1. Therefore, the particle volume fraction determines both the lattice constant and the bandgap position. a) Optical image of an ETPTA film containing porous photonic crystal stripe patterns with 20 different bandgaps. b) Reflectance spectra from the 20 strips. c) Optical microscope image of the middle region with the parallel stripe pattern (denoted as white-dotted box in a). d) Cross-sectional SEM images of first, sixth, eleventh and seventeenth strips. The scale bars in a, c and d are 1 cm, 2mm and 2 µm, respectively. (reprinted with permission from Wiley-VCH Verlag) Reporting their findings in a recent issue of Advanced Materials ("Integration of Colloidal Photonic Crystals toward Miniaturized Spectrometers"), the KAIST team has demonstrated the integration of colloidal photonic crystals with 20 different bandgaps into freestanding films (prepared by soft lithography), and their application as a spectrometer. Yang explains that the team was able to precisely control the photonic bandgap by varying the particle size and volume fration. "The prepared colloidal composite structures showed high physical rigidity and chemical resistivity" he says. "The composite structure is suitable for spectroscopic use due to the small full widths at half maximum (FWHMs) of the reflectance spectra, which mean that there is little overlap of the reflectance spectra of neighboring photonic crystal strips." "On the other hand" says Yang, "porous photonic crystals showed large FWHMs and high reflectivities, which should prove useful in many practical photonic applications that require high optical performance and physical rigidity as well as simple and inexpensive preparation." In addition to fabricating miniaturized spectrometers, which can for instance be integrated into small lab-on-a-chip devices, these integrated photonic crystals can be potentially used for tunable band reflection mirrors, optical switches, and tunable lasing cavities. Moreover, patterned photonic crystals with RGB colors are well-suited for use in reflection-mode microdisplay devices. Yang points out that, although the spectrometric resolution can be reduced by employing the smaller bandgap interval and photonic bandwidth, there is a limitation. "Now, we are studying photonic crystals with continuous modulation of bandgap position. We expect that the photonic crystals can reduce the resolution to 0.01 nm." By Michael Berger. Copyright 2010 Nanowerk
Prof. Kwon Unveils Home-Made Lunar Module
A KAIST research team led by Prof. Se-Jin Kwon at the Department of Aerospace Engineering has unveiled a small lunar module developed in cooperation with engineers at a local company, Space Solutions, university authorities said on Thursday (Nov. 27). The home-made lunar module, the vehicle that conducts survey on the surface of the moon, is 40 centimeters tall and weighs 25 kg. Equipped with a liquid-fuel rocket engine with a maximum thrust of 350 newtons (N), it is capable of carrying objects weighing around 20 kg to the lunar space from the space ship. Professor Kwon"s team held a demonstration of the lander for journalists at a KAIST lab on Friday (Nov. 28). Lunar landers are critical in developing lunar spacecraft, and countries with advanced aerospace technologies have been careful to protect their core technologies. According to Prof. Kwon, every part of the rocket engine, including the catalyst, was home made. The rocket"s propulsion system features a state-of-the-art propellant valve developed by Space Solutions, which enables thrust control. Lunar modules between the 100 and 200 kilogram range, developed by NASA (U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration), costs around $100 million, said Kwon. "It is expensive to guarantee the safety of developers of an American module because the fuel contains carcinogens. But the rocket engine created by KAIST team could cut development costs to about half that because it is powered by environmentally friendly fuel," he said. The lander, product of a six-year-long effort, represents remarkable advancement in the technology for developing spacecraft for lunar missions.
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