Biomedical devices and sensor research has been widely exploiting soft elastomers and gels reinforced with hard structures such as woven/knitted fibers or 3D printed structures, often with conductive/ magnetic components for active functionalities. Elastomers, natural or synthetic polymers that have soft, deformable, and resilient mechanical properties have traditionally been used in biomedical applications owing to their similarity to soft tissues in terms of mechanical properties. In fact, soft tissues in biological systems are fiber-reinforced gel materials. Soft material and device lab (SMDL) aims to develop biomedical devices and sensors based on the understanding of physicochemical properties of elastomers, gels, and their composites with functional or non-functional reinforcements. In the presentation, I will share a few recent achievements in SMDL. Firstly, our recent works in developing neo-aorta material for ex-vivo heart perfusion (EVHP) device are introduced. Secondly, I briefly introduce our new studies on the understanding of human skin vibration in haptics device applications. Thirdly, I introduce our two-layered e-textile patches by controlled permeation of Ag-particle/fluoropolymer composite ink into porous textile substrate. Here, we demonstrate surface electromyography (sEMG) and electroencephalography (EEG) systems with wireless data emission. Finally, our works on understanding the physicochemical properties of tough hydrogels and their applications in electronic skins are showcased.
Hyun-Joong Chung is a materials engineer who leads a broadly interdisciplinary research program on understanding physicochemical properties of gels and elastomers with or without functional additives and reinforcements, as well as on translating fundamental understanding to biomedical and energy device applications. His significant contributions includes key studies on the role of jamming nanoparticles in phase-separating polymer blends; his works on oxide semiconductors and wearable devices which have been highly recognized (>5000 citations) by international information display and flexible electronics communities. His 67 peer-reviewed papers/conference proceedings and 11 patents were cited >9,800 times (h-index 33).