MSE Seminar Series: Sihong Wang (Chicago)

Biomimetic Polymer Electronics for Multi-Modal Interfacing with Biology

The human body and other biological systems carry important and complex information that is vital for health monitoring, disease treatment, and human-machine interactions. Electronics stand as unparalleled tools for precisely recording, analyzing, and modulating biological behaviors across all spatial and temporal scales. To achieve intimate and multi-modal interfacing of electronic devices with biological tissues and organs, electronics must mimic various aspects of biophysical and biochemical properties in biological systems. Moreover, biological systems also provide unique operational mechanisms with high energy efficiency. In this talk, I will introduce our recent research in designing polymer-based electronic materials and devices that combine biomimetic properties with advanced electronic and photonic functions. First, I will discuss our research in the development of organic semiconductor- and transistor-based biosensors, with the impartment of several biomimetic properties: (1) skin-like stretchability for mechanical robustness, (2) tissue-level ultrasoft properties for conformable and minimally invasive interfaces, (3) bio adhesive properties for intimate and stable interface with tissues, and (4) immune-compatible properties for suppressing foreign-body responses. Second, I will introduce our effort in the development of stretchable neuromorphic devices and circuits for implementing AI-based analysis for health data, which paves the way for integrating AI-based computing with wearable and implantable systems. Third, I will discuss our development of stretchable light-emitting polymers and OLEDs for use in skin-like displays and optical bio-stimulations.

Sihong Wang’s research focuses on the development of biomimetic polymer electronics and bio-energy harvesting for biomedical application.

Prior to joining the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago in 2018, Wang was a postdoctoral fellow in chemical engineering at Stanford University from 2015 to 2018. He received his PhD in materials science and engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014, and his BS in materials science and engineering at Tsinghua University in 2009.

Prof. Wang has published 58 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals including Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Electronics, Nature Communications, Science Advances, Advanced Materials, Energy & Environmental Science, etc., with >12,000 citations to his work and a Google Scholar H-index of 52. Wang is also a named inventor on 5 US patents.

Wang was named to MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35) Global List in 2020. He was also awarded the Material Research Society Postdoc Travel Award, Material Research Society Graduate Student Award, Material Research Society Best Poster Award Nominee, Certificate of Merit for the oral presentation at ACS National Meeting, etc. His first-authored invention of “self-charging power cells” was selected as the one of the Top 10 Breakthroughs in Physics Science for the year of 2012, by the Institute of Physics magazine Physics World.

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