Recent News


March 21, 2019

Printed sensors provide on the spot fentanyl detection

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed screen-printed sensors that could offer a faster, convenient and low-cost method to detect the drug fentanyl. The sensors can detect micromolar concentrations of fentanyl in just one minute. They are easy to produce, cost only a few cents apiece, and are disposable. Full Story


December 8, 2018

Engineers develop 3D-printed metamaterials that change mechanical properties under magnetic fields

A team of researchers have developed an entirely new class of metamaterials that can nearly instantly respond and stiffen 3D printed structures when exposed to a magnetic field, a development that could be applied to next-generation helmets, wearable armor and a host of other innovations. Full Story


November 7, 2018

Center for Wearable Sensors Fall 2018 Research Summit

The Center for Wearable Sensors hosted its Fall 2018 Research Summit on Nov. 7. UC San Diego faculty gave talks on their CWS projects, ranging from wearable ultrasound patches to microelectrodes for monitoring brain activity. Full Story


September 12, 2018

Wearable ultrasound patch monitors blood pressure deep inside body

A new wearable ultrasound patch that non-invasively monitors blood pressure in arteries deep beneath the skin could help people detect cardiovascular problems earlier on and with greater precision. In tests, the patch performed as well as some clinical methods to measure blood pressure. Applications include real-time, continuous monitoring of blood pressure changes in patients with heart or lung disease, as well as patients who are critically ill or undergoing surgery. The patch uses ultrasound, so it could potentially be used to non-invasively track other vital signs and physiological signals from places deep inside the body. Full Story


August 13, 2018

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

By connecting layers of stretchable circuits on top of one another, engineers have developed an approach to build soft “3D stretchable electronics” that can pack more functions while staying thin and small. As a proof of concept, the team built a multifunctional "smart bandage" that can be worn on the skin and used to wirelessly monitor an array of signals, from respiration, to body motion, to brain activity, and even remotely control a robotic arm. Full Story


June 29, 2018

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


April 19, 2018

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


April 10, 2018

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


March 23, 2018

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


March 21, 2018

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