Recent News

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

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

New dental imaging method uses squid ink to fish for gum disease

Squid ink might be a great ingredient to make black pasta, but it could also one day make getting checked for gum disease at the dentist less tedious and even painless. By combining squid ink with light and ultrasound, a team led by engineers at the University of California San Diego has developed a new dental imaging method to examine a patient’s gums that is non-invasive, more comprehensive and more accurate than the state of the art. Full Story

Stretchable biofuel cells extract energy from sweat to power wearable devices

A team of engineers has developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of wearable devices.  Full Story

Announcements & Events

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

April 16, 2016

Self-healing gadgets?

Researchers from the lab of Center for Wearable Sensors Joseph Wang recently presented work that could one day be useful for fixing circuits woven into clothing or other fabrics. Read more on Science Daily

March 3, 2016

Smart clothing on display at ARPA-E Technology Showcase

Researchers from the ATTACH smart clothing project presented their work at the 2016 ARPA-E Technology Showcase in Washington, D.C. this week.

February 9, 2016

Patrick Mercier wins DARPA Young Faculty Award

Professor Patrick Mercier received a 2016 DARPA Young Faculty Award, which is given to rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions. More Details

Announcements Archive

Press Coverage

April 18, 2018

New Start Recovery

New Injectable Alcohol Biosensor Monitors BAC

For recovering alcoholics, accountability remains one of the most elusive pitfalls of long term sobriety. It's easy to backslide into bad habits when no one is watching. But thanks to UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering, there is hope on the horizon for long term sober accountability. They are developing an injectable alcohol biosensor chip that continuously monitors blood alcohol content (BAC). Full Story

April 17, 2018


This Implantable Chip Could Monitor Alcohol Intake

People arrested for DUIs or other alcohol-related offenses are sometimes ordered to wear so-called SCRAM (secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring) bracelets. The device, usually worn on the ankle, can detect alcohol consumption through the skin. Patients in rehab programs often submit to alcohol monitoring as well, often through Breathalyzers or blood tests. But SCRAM bracelets are clunky and sometimes embarrassing, and tests require regular visits. A team of scientists from UC San Diego has come up with a potential alternative: a tiny implantable chip. Full Story

April 17, 2018

U.S. News & World Report

Skin Sensor Might Someday Track Alcoholics' Booze Intake

An injectable sensor that could provide ongoing monitoring of the alcohol intake of people receiving addiction treatment is in development. The miniature biosensor would be placed just beneath the skin surface and be powered wirelessly by a wearable device, such as a smartwatch or patch, the University of California, San Diego engineers explained. "The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a routine, unobtrusive alcohol and drug monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs," project leader Drew Hall said in a university news release. Full Story

April 17, 2018


UC San Diego Bio-Engineers Develop Wearable Device To Monitor Stomach Activity

In 2011, UC San Diego bioengineer Todd Coleman developed some thin, flexible sensors that could measure electrical activity in the brain. That same year, his father died of pancreatic cancer. His grandmother died from stomach cancer years before. That got Coleman thinking. "Are there electrical rhythms of the digestive system? Maybe we could measure them with these new devices, and maybe this could help solve some of the problems that have been associated with my family," he wondered. Full Story

April 11, 2018

New Atlas

Injectable chip measures alcohol consumption

There may be a new -- if perhaps somewhat Big Brother-like -- method of monitoring the alcohol intake of people in substance abuse treatment programs. Led by Prof. Drew Hall, scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed an alcohol-sensing chip that can be implanted in the body. The chip is designed to be injected under the skin, where it will sit in the interstitial fluid that surrounds the cells. The chip uses very little power (which it draws from the watch's RF signals) and takes just three seconds to conduct one measurement. Full Story

Contacts for the News Media

Ioana Patringenaru

Public Information Officer
Phone: +1 (858) 822-0899

Liezel Labios

Public Information Officer
Phone: +1 (858) 246-1124

Jacobs School of Engineering Newsroom