Organic bioelectronics = Printable electronics + Iontronics + Soft electronics + Healable electronics + Sustainable electronics
The epidemic in 2020 causes global panic in public health. It reflects the urgent need for sensitive and cost-effective biomedical devices that can screen diseases on time, rather than relying on time-consuming testing kits that can be only used in research labs by professionals. Personalized biosensors have been aiming to solve such challenges by enabling point-of-care and wearable detection of human health conditions on a timely-manner. Such devices will eventually enable the transition from "hospital-centric healthcare to human-centric healthcare" and from “treating the patients” towards “ensuring the well-being of human beings”.
Tissues are soft, healable, ionic signaling, and live. Electronics are hard, fragile, electronic signaling, and non-live. A mediator is needed to merge these two incompatible objects compatible at the tissue/device interface. To minimize any potential mismatches as well as to improve communication, the mediator should have the merits of both.
Organic bioelectronics is a cutting-edge technology using mixed ion/electron organic semiconductors to lower the communication barrier between biomedical instrumentation and the human body. It holds the record-high sensitivity in detecting brain signals. Organic bioelectronic devices developed on silicon and plastic is maturing toward practical applications ranging from life sciences to the clinic.
With the ambition to further improve the coupling efficiency of organic bioelectronics with the human body, my research leverages transdisciplinary approaches to develop tissue-like organic bioelectronics for a more interactive body-device interface. We are recognized as one of the pioneers in this research area, globally. Specifically, we initiated research on engineering soft and water-healable conducting polymers and conducting hydrogels for soft organic electrochemical transistors and iontronic sensing applications.
My ongoing research is to use a bottom-up strategy (materials-manufacturing-devices-integrations) to develop a transferable organic biosensing platform for molecular biosensing, smart medical wearables, targeted drug delivery, imaging, and intelligent biomimicking iontronic logics, with the purpose to improve the quality of life.
In parallel, my research is contributing to shaping a new research direction: soft iontronics, where elastic organic iontronic thin films and hydrogels are married to resolve the unmet biomedical challenges of tomorrow. Our research creates cutting-edge knowledge, which enables us to understand better the communication that occurred at the abiotic/biotic interface and to develop advanced organic bioelectronics for healthcare and ionic artificial intelligence.
Past research: OLEDs for microdisplay (2009-2012)