Recent News


UC San Diego nanoengineer named among MIT Technology Review's top innovators under 35

MIT Technology Review has named Sheng Xu, a professor of nanoengineering at the University of California San Diego, as one of this year’s top innovators under 35. Xu is being recognized for inventing a clever way to make off-the-shelf electronics stretchable. Full Story


Clinical Trial Tests Tattoo Sensor as Needleless Glucose Monitor for Diabetes Patients

A temporary tattoo for glucose monitoring developed by engineers at UC San Diego is being tested in a phase I clinical trial. The study will test the tattoo sensor’s accuracy at detecting glucose levels compared to a traditional glucometer. The clinical trial is enrolling 50 adults, ages 18 to 75, with either type 1 or 2 diabetes or diabetes due to other causes. Full Story


Tiny injectable sensor could provide unobtrusive, long-term alcohol monitoring

Engineers have developed a tiny, ultra-low power chip that could be injected just under the surface of the skin for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is powered wirelessly by a wearable device such as a smartwatch or patch. The goal of this work is to develop a convenient, routine monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs.  Full Story


Flexible ultrasound patch could make it easier to inspect damage in odd-shaped structures

Researchers have developed a stretchable, flexible patch that could make it easier to perform ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures, such as engine parts, turbines, reactor pipe elbows and railroad tracks—objects that are difficult to examine using conventional ultrasound equipment. The ultrasound patch is a versatile and more convenient tool to inspect machine and building parts for defects and damage deep below the surface. Full Story


A wearable system to monitor the stomach's activity throughout the day

A team of researchers has developed a wearable, non-invasive system to monitor electrical activity in the stomach over 24 hours—essentially an electrocardiogram but for the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract.  Applications include monitoring GI activity for patients outside of a clinical setting, which cuts down costs. Monitoring for longer periods of time also increases the likelihood of capturing abnormal events.  Researchers detail their findings in the March 22 issue of Nature’s open access journal Scientific Reports. Full Story


Engineers develop most efficient red-light-activated switch that can turn genes on and off in mammalian cells

A team of researchers has developed a light-activated switch that can turn genes on and off in mammalian cells. This is the most efficient so-called “optogenetic switch” activated by red and far-red light that has been successfully designed and tested in animal cells—and it doesn’t require the addition of light sensing molecules from outside the cells.   Full Story


Nano-ink-based sensors detect an eye blink

Through developing a graphene-nanosheet-based ink, collaborators at the University of California ? San Diego and the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology have produced flexible, wearable, ultrathin sensors. Fabricated by printing multiple layers directly onto medical tape, the printed graphene sensors can be easily affixed to skin. Due to their high strain sensitivity, deformations to the sensor caused by subject movement can allow non-invasive health monitoring. Further, through combining multiple small sensor patches to make different geometries, the sensors accurately follow hand motions and can even monitor eye-blinking and pulse. Full Story


Less than skin deep: humans can feel molecular differences between nearly identical surfaces

How sensitive is the human sense of touch? Sensitive enough to feel the difference between surfaces that differ by just a single layer of molecules, a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has shown. Full Story


Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

Engineers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors have developed a smartphone case and app that could make it easier for patients to record and track their blood glucose readings, whether they’re at home or on the go. Full Story


A fashionable chemical and biological threat detector-on-a-ring

Wearable sensors are revolutionizing the tech-world, capable of tracking processes in the body, such as heart rates. They're even becoming fashionable Full Story


Announcements & Events


June 29, 2018

Making off-the-shelf electronics stretchable.

Stretchy electronics that can conform to the body no longer have to compromise between electrical and mechanical performance, thanks to some smart engineering by Sheng Xu. His strategy made it possible to integrate off-the-shelf components into elastic materials to create highly stretchable electronics as capable as their rigid counterparts.


June 15, 2018

Joseph Wang received Heyrovsky Honorary Medal

Joseph Wang, CWS Director, has received the Heyrovsky Honorary Medal from the Czech National Academy of Sciences Learn More


June 6, 2018

Joseph Wang received ESEAC 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award

Joseph Wang, CWS Director, has received the ESEAC 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in Electroanalytical Chemistry. This prize is awarded to a senior scientist with a proven record of significant achievements in Electroanalytical Chemistry and active involvement in the activities of ESEAC. Learn More


November 27, 2017

Joseph Wang named Honorary Doctor in Europe

Joseph Wang, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Nanoengineering at UC San Diego, was awarded a "Doctor Honoris Causa" (honorary doctorate) by two universities in Europe last week.


July 8, 2016

Wearable sensors work in PNAS news

Joe Wang's self-healing electronics research profiled in a PNAS news feature by Katherine Bourzac. Read more on PNAS website


Announcements Archive



Press Coverage


July 12, 2018

Scientific American

Smart Mouth Guard Senses Muscle Fatigue

During intense exercise, your body breaks down glucose and produces lactate. That substance can build up faster than it can be further processed. For athletes, excessive lactate means muscle fatigue and diminished performance. So athletes would like to know their actual lactate levels during training and competition. Blood tests are one way to measure lactate levels, but are not practical in the middle of a game or race. Researchers at University of California San Diego and Palo Alto Research Center have found a way to measure lactate in saliva to monitor muscle endurance. Full Story


July 3, 2018

EE Times

10 Views of Sensors Expo 2018

More than 5,000 people registered for this year's Sensor Expo, where more than 250 companies showed their wares. The numbers are a reasonable indicator that there's a diverse and growing set of sensors and people interested in them in these early days of the Internet of Things. Along the way, I met Albert Pisano, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California at San Diego. Pisano used to lead a sensor and actuator lab at Berkeley and, in his new role, nourishes a similar initiative focused on wearables. Full Story


June 27, 2018

MIT Technology Review

Making off-the-shelf electronics stretchable.

Stretchy electronics that can conform to the body no longer have to compromise between electrical and mechanical performance, thanks to some smart engineering by Sheng Xu. His strategy made it possible to integrate off-the-shelf components into elastic materials to create highly stretchable electronics as capable as their rigid counterparts. Full Story


June 26, 2018

Digital Trends

Spit-checking mouthguard can tell if athletes are tired or mentally drained

University of California San Diego, working with Xerox PARC and flexible hybrid electronics group NextFlex, has created a smart mouthguard biosensor which can detect early signs of dehydration, exhaustion, and mental engagement levels, based on nothing more than a sample of your saliva. The sensor is made from electronic plastic foil and is designed to fit into an ordinary mouthguard for use in everything from workouts to military missions. It analyzes the lactate and glucose naturally found in saliva and is able to send this information to a connected smartphone in close to real time. Full Story


May 7, 2018

The San Diego Union Tribune

UC San Diego developing biosensor that monitors alcohol in people struggling with substance abuse

UC San Diego has made an important technical advance in its effort to develop a tiny biosensor that could be placed beneath a person's skin for long-term alcohol monitoring in patients being treated for substance abuse. A team led by engineer Drew Hall created a prototype of the sensor that worked when it was placed in a simulated environment in the laboratory. The device now has to be refined so that it can be tested in live animals and, eventually, humans. Full Story



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