Research

Our various accomplishments on intelligent medical devices (IMD) confered us an expertise that is renown world wide in the field of electronics dedicated to biomedical applications. These achievements allowed us to develop a thorough knowledge of mixed (analog/digital) circuits and systems in both discrete and integrated electronics. Thus, our research activities cover much more than biomedical implants design and it takes places in the circuits and systems design for multiple applications:

Biosensors

Biosensors can detect biomolecular interactions, thus have important applications in many areas including biomedicine, food safety, biosafety, environment protection.
We are doing research on label-free optical biosensors based on a CMOS compatible nanomaterial-porous silicon. Porous silicon is a nanostructured material with high surface area and tunable morphology, making it very suitable for constructing biosensors. In addition, we exploit Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) with resonant optical porous silicon devices to achieve high sensitivity of biomolecular detection. The optical biosensors based on porous silicon can be measured by portable fiber spectrometer. The optical measurement can also be completed by robots, which can help professionals to avoid biohazards. For the recent COVID epidemic, we have developed a rapid, on-site, fully automatic SARS-CoV-2 detection system. When combined with porous silicon optical biosensor, the system can provide powerful population-scale screening. Both the biosensor and the detection system are of low cost and readily scalable to accommodate different population size. Furthermore, the biosensor, together with a handheld reflection spectroscopy system, can be utilized for personal or home use for health monitoring. Moreover, we are utilizing the biosensor and measurement system for detecting many other kinds of pathogens in environment, such as air, water and surface of the objects. Our system has been deployed in Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for research use. In collaboration with Hangzhou CDC, we are also developing a mobile P2 lab inside a modified van to carry out rapid and onsite detection of pathogens in high risk environment.
Related Publications:
IEEE EMBC 2020

SoC design for brain-machine-interface

We work on low-power analog front-end design including amplifier and ADC for neural signal recording, wireless links for data and power transmission, and dedicated low-power AI-accelerated processor for neural signal processing. With advanced silicon process and packaging technology, various types of circuits can be integrated into a compact system-on-chip (SoC) for various brain-machine-interface applications. We are devoting to improving various circuit metrics including signal-to-noise ratio, energy-efficiency, etc.

Energy-efficient AI algorithms and VLSI architecture

We aim to reduce the energy consumption of computationally complex AI algorithms for biomedical applications while delivering real-time performance. By bridging between algorithms and hardware (including circuits, architectures, and systems), we develop efficient VLSI architecture that can be applied to a broad range of biomedical applications including wearable EEG analysis systems, brain-machine-interface, visual prosthesis, etc.

Rapid optical biosensors for SARS-CoV2 neutralizing antibodies detection in dried blood sot samples

Precise monitoring of SARS-CoV2 NAbs is of great importance for evaluating the vaccines safety and investigating the dynamics of immune response and epidemiology of COVID-19. Current mainstream diagnostic methods for SARS-CoV2 NAbs requires strict biosafety level-3 operating environment, which is time- and labor-consuming, and requires regular venous sampling for blood collection, which is invasive and harmful for intensive sampling and large-scale immunological and epidemiologic investigation. Signal-enhanced bio-layer interferometry (BLI) technique [1], integrated with dried blood spot self-sampling [2,3], enables us to establish an optical fiber biosensor for monitoring of SARS-CoV2 NAbs in whole blood within approximately 10min with sufficient clinical validity and utility.

Towards continuous drug monitoring of anti-epileptic drug

Real-time, continuous drug monitoring has the great potential to revolutionize the precision medicine by providing real-time information about an individual's response to therapeutics (Fig.1A). Regular therapeutic drug monitoring relies on blood samples typically collected at peak, trough and intermediate points for measurement, which is painful, cumbersome and lacking of real-time feedback (Fig.1B). Continuous drug monitoring has been recently achieved by technologies such as electrochemical aptamer-based sensors, wearable and implantable sensors.[4,5] Interdigitated electrodes (IDE)-based biosensor, integrated with molecular imprint polymer (MIP) [6] as the sensing element, has a great potential to help us achieve real-time monitoring of anti-epileptic drug in human samples.

Related Publications:
COVID-19 Update, Sampling Method, Drug Monitoring, In Vivo Detection, PEDOT