This activity is connected to the sensing and transduction of signals from parts of the living beings body (eyes, blood, brain, etc.) and interfacing these processed signals with computational and actuating elements. Innovation in materials, architectures, fabrication methods are all active themes of research including their applications to health, well being and improved environment for a better living.
Our best preferred platform for the implementation of the above reported transduction mechanisms consists in the Organic Electrochemical Transistor (OECT). OECTs are based on the highly conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), which modulates its conductivity in response to a gate voltage, by doping and de-doping bulk effects when exposed to an electrolyte solution.
Such a peculiar behavior, coupled with intrinsic high sensitivity due to the built-in amplification and ions-to-electrons transduction, allows designing sensors able to monitor a wide range of biomolecules like ribonucleic acids, proteins, drugs, biomarkers for early diagnosis, as well as monitoring the neuronal synaptic activity or the cell response to physiological, artificially induced stimuli and the effect of specific drugs.
PEDOT:PSS also works as an impedance adapter and devices based on it are suitable for bio-signals (i.e. ECG, EEG, EMG ….) recording in vivo and in direct contact with the human body.
Materials and processing of such devices are extremely interesting due to the simple polymer deposition on traditional or flexible substrates by clean room processes or printing technology.
Our research activity in this field is currently aiming at:
- Investigating and enlarging the bio-related applications portfolio
- Performance improvement (sensitivity, selectivity, time response, time stability)
- Miniaturization for in vivo applications
- Development of innovative and unconventional fabrication processes for an easier integration into real application scenario
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