Newswise — New wearable electronics paired with artificial intelligence could transform screening for health problems.
Flexible, wearable electronics are making their way into everyday use, and their own full potential is still to be realized. Soon, this technology can be used for precision medical sensors attached to the skin, designed to perform health monitoring and diagnosis. It would be like having a high-tech medical center at your instant beck and call.
Such a skin-like device is being developed in the project between the U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School associated with Molecular Engineering (PME). Leading the project is Sihong Wang, assistant professor in UChicago PME with a joint appointment inside Argonne’s Nanoscience and Technology division.
Worn routinely, future wearable electronics could potentially detect possible emerging health problems — such as heart disease, cancer or multiple sclerosis — even before obvious symptoms appear. The device could also do a personalized analysis of the tracked health data while minimizing the need for its wireless transmission. “The diagnosis with regard to the same health measurements could differ depending on the person’s age, healthcare history and other factors, ” Wang said. “Such a diagnosis, with health information being continuously gathered over an extended period, is very data intensive. ”
“While nevertheless requiring further development on several fronts, our device could be a game changer in which everyone can get their wellness status in a much more effective and frequent way. ” — Sihong Wang, assistant professor in UChicago’s PME along with joint appointment in Argonne’s Nanoscience plus Technology division
Such a device would need to collect and process a vast amount of information, well above what even the best smartwatches can do today. And it would have to do this data crunching with very low power consumption in the very tiny space.
To address that require, the team called upon neuromorphic computing. This AI technology mimics operation of the brain by training on past data sets and learning from experience. Its advantages include compatibility with stretchable material, lower energy consumption and faster speed than other types of AI .
The other major challenge the group faced was integrating the particular electronics in to a skin-like stretchable materials. The key material in any electronic device is a semiconductor. In current rigid consumer electronics used in cell phones plus computers, this is normally a solid silicon chip. Stretchable electronics require that the semiconductor be a highly flexible material that is still able to conduct electricity.
The team’s skin-like neuromorphic “chip” consists of the thin film of a plastic semiconductor combined with stretchable gold nanowire electrodes. Even when stretched in order to twice the normal size, their gadget functioned as planned without formation associated with any cracks.
As one test, the team built an AI device and trained it to distinguish healthy electrocardiogram (ECG) signals from four different signals indicating health issues. After coaching, the device was more than 95% effective at correctly identifying the ECG signals.
The plastic semiconductor also underwent evaluation on beamline 8-ID-E at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science user facility at Argonne. Exposure to an intense X-ray beam revealed how the molecules that make up the particular skin-like gadget material reorganize upon doubling in length. These results provided molecular level information to better understand the material properties.
“The planned upgrade of the APS will increase the brightness of its X-ray beams by up to 500 times, ” said Joe Strzalka, an Argonne physicist. “We look forward to studying the device material under its regular operating conditions, interacting with charged particles and changing electrical potential inside its environment. Instead associated with a snapshot, we’ll have more of a movie of the structural response from the material in the molecular level. ” The greater beamline lighting and better detectors will make it possible to measure how soft or hard the materials becomes in response to environmental influences.
“While still requiring additional development upon several methodologies, our gadget could one day be the game changer by which everyone could get their particular health status in a much more effective and frequent way, ” added Wang.
This research was published in Matter inside a paper titled “Intrinsically stretchable neuromorphic devices for on-body processing associated with health data with artificial intelligence . ”
In addition to Wang plus Strzalka, Argonne team members contributing to this particular pivotal research include Zixuan Zhao, Fangfang Xia, Rick Stevens and Jie Xu. UChicago PME contributors consist of Shilei Dai, Yahao Dai, Yang Li, Youdi Liu, Ping Cheng, Songsong Li, Nan Li, Qi Su, Shinya Wai, Wei Liu and Cheng Zhang. Also adding to this project were researchers through Tongji University (Jia Huang) and the College of Southern California (Ruoyu Zhao plus J. Joshua Yang).
This work has been funded by the U. S. Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and a start-up fund from the particular University of Chicago.
About Argonne’s Center regarding Nanoscale Materials
The Center intended for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national consumer facilities to get interdisciplinary study on the nanoscale supported simply by the DOE Office associated with Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities in order to fabricate, procedure, characterize and model nanoscale materials, plus constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The particular NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For even more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://science.osti.gov/User-Facilities/User-Facilities-at-a-Glance .
About the Advanced Photon Source
The U. S. Department of Energy Office associated with Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) in Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world’s most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers within materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, plus applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries in order to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation’s economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, a lot more than 5, 000 researchers make use of the APS to produce over 2, 000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, plus solve more vital natural protein structures than users of any other X-ray light resource research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that will is at the heart of advancing accelerator plus light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that will produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by experts, lenses that focus the particular X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the method the X-rays interact along with samples becoming studied, and software that will gathers plus manages the massive quantity of information resulting through discovery analysis at the APS.
This particular research used resources associated with the Sophisticated Photon Resource, a U. S. DOE Workplace of Technology User Facility operated pertaining to the DOE Office of Science by Argonne Nationwide Laboratory below Contract No . DE-AC02-06CH11357.
Argonne National Lab seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The particular nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific study in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne scientists work closely with analysts from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state plus municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the particular nation for a better future. With employees from greater than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC meant for the U. H. Department associated with Energy’s Office of Science .
The U. S. Division of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter associated with basic research in the bodily sciences inside the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges in our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science .