WSU Researchers Awarded $1M NASA Grant For Biomedical Sensor

Oct 5, 2016

The smart skin patch on an arm.
Credit Wichita State University

Researchers at Wichita State University have received a grant from NASA to develop a biomedical sensor that attaches to the body.

The wearable device is called a smart skin biomedical sensor. It looks like a rectangular copper sticker with geometric patterns.

Based on their early work , a group of student and faculty researchers at WSU received a $1.1 million grant from NASA to continue developing the sensor. It measures things like blood flow, blood gas levels and muscle degeneration—all without batteries or electrical components.

A graphic depicting how the biomedical sensor works.
Credit Wichita State University

Head researcher Kim Cluff presented the sensor at a Health Care Innovation Forum in Wichita earlier this year.

“Most of you are probably familiar with MRI. It uses a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves to create incredible images of the human body," he said. "What if we could compress these MRI systems into something as small as a Band-aide or a patch?”

NASA could one day use the sensor for their own research. Cluff says he thinks doctors could also use it as a diagnostic tool for patients.

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