Value Proposition: We developed a flexible, stretchable, wearable, and washable piezoresistive microtubular sensor that is highly sensitive to mechanical perturbations. Its tiny footprint is approximately a cross-section of a strand of hair, which is one of the smallest in the existing technologies. This enables users to apply the sensor almost indistinguishably, thereby improving compliance and comfort. Furthermore, the tubular structure allows conformability over 3D curvatures, which cannot be achieved with planar substrates.
For commercialization, we intend to spin off the technology with our start-up, focusing on wearable sensors. The wearable microtubular sensors can find huge market in healthcare devices, robotics, and consumer electronics. Examples of applications are pulse and blood pressure monitoring for cardiovascular diseases, pressure monitoring for compression therapy and diabetic foot, rigidity assessment for erectile dysfunction, etc.
Meanwhile, we intend to license the process of making the microtubes to another company for mass production. This would provide support for other applications including cell separation, microrobotics, and chemical sensing for many other applications in biomedical engineering, personalized medicine, environmental engineering and food industry.
Potential Applications We aim to use this versatile and imperceptible fiber-like wearable sensor and explore its applications in biomedical engineering, to address various clinical needs, including pressure monitoring for compression bandaging, continuous blood pressure measurement, monitoring circulation of blood vessels during surgery, rigidity assessment of erectile dysfunction, etc.