UA Research Team Led by Center for Integrative Medicine Wins FLEXI Award for Wearable Hydration Monitor

2018 FLEX conference with FLEXI awardsCongratulations to the University of Arizona flexible hybrid electronics research team led by the UA Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM), which was part of the winning group for a research-and-development award at the FLEXI Awards.

Dr. Esther SternbergLeading the team is Esther Sternberg, MD, AzCIM research director, director of the UA Institute on Place and Wellbeing, and a professor of medicine and psychology. An internationally renowned investigator on mind-body research, she joined the UA faculty in 2013.

The UA Division of Integrative Medicine, one of 14 divisions within the UA Department of Medicine, operates largely through the center. Both are led by division chief and center executive director Victoria Maizes, MD.

Drs. Min Jia, Esther Sternberg and Perry SkeathSince arriving at the UA, Dr. Sternberg has worked collaboratively with a range of the UA units, including the College of Engineering and UA divisions from Rheumatology to Geriatrics to Endocrinology to Cardiology—to develop wearable electronics for health monitoring. Among partner researchers in the effort were AzCIM's Perry Skeath, PhD, assistant research director, and Min Jia, PhD, who has since left the university. Both are pictured right with Dr. Sternberg.

This award is an outgrowth of the UA research team’s joining, in 2013, the FlexTech Alliance, which two years later won a $75 million U.S. Department of Defense award to establish an institute for flexible hybrid electronics.

A resulting stretchable microfluidic sweat sensor was tested at the 2016 El Tour de Tucson long-distance bicycle race, with more than a dozen volunteers participating in the study. Among the riders participating was Marvin Slepian, MD, a professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, materials science and medical imaging, cardiologist with the UA Sarver Heart Center, and director of the UA Health Sciences Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation.

FlexTech logoThe FLEXI Awards were presented Feb. 13 as part of the opening session of the 17th Annual FLEX Conference and Exhibition in Monterey, Calif. The awards are presented by the FlexTech Special Interest Group, a strategic partner of SEMI which is a global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries.

AzCIM is part of the Wearable Device for Dynamic Assessment of Hydration team, which includes GE Global Research, UES, the University of Arizona, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dublin City University and AFRL. It won the FLEXI R&D Achievement Award for developing a paper-based biofluid patch that collects sweat for human hydration index monitoring.

Award criteria included research approach, originality and commercial potential for expanding the bounds of flexible or printed electronics.

—David Mogollón

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“UA Researchers Go the Distance for Fluid Analysis Via Sweat” | Posted Jan. 14, 2017
“UA Part of National Team Picked to Lead Flexible Electronics Research” | Posted Aug. 31, 2015

Release Date: 
03/02/2018 - 9:30am
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