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[Illinois] Tissue-like Electronic Interfaces to the Body

By John Rogers

Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

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Biology is curved, soft, and elastic; silicon wafers are not. Semiconductor technologies that can bridge this gap in form and mechanics will create new opportunities in devices that adopt biologically inspired designs or require intimate integration with the human body. This talk describes the development of ideas for electronics that offer the performance of state-of-the-art, wafer-based systems but with the mechanical properties of a rubber band. We explain the underlying materials science and mechanics of these approaches, and illustrate their use in bio-integrated, ‘tissue-like’ electronics with unique capabilities for mapping cardiac electrophysiology, in both endocardial and epicardial modes, and for performing electrocorticography. Demonstrations in live animal models illustrate the functionality offered by these technologies, and suggest several clinically relevant applications.

This talk is sponsored by the Graduate College Focal Point Program and Neuroengineering IGERT.


Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. During this time he also served as a founder and Director of Active Impulse Systems, a company that commercialized technologies developed during his PhD work. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from the end of 2000 to 2002. He is the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign with a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Bioengineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He currently serves as the Director of a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on nanomanufacturing, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Rogers' research includes fundamental and applied aspects of nano and molecular scale fabrication as well as materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. He has published more than 350 papers, and is an inventor on over 80 patents and patent applications, more than 50 of which are licensed or in active use by large companies and startups that he has co-founded. His research has been recognized with many awards including, most recently, a National Institutes of Health Award (2012), Lemelson-MIT Prize (2011), a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (2009), the George Smith Award from the IEEE (2009), the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense (2008), the Daniel Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois (2007) and the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award from the American Chemical Society (2007). Rogers is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE; 2011) and a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE; 2009), the American Physical Society (APS; 2006), the Materials Research Society (MRS; 2007) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2008).


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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • John Rogers (2012), "[Illinois] Tissue-like Electronic Interfaces to the Body,"

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Charlie Newman, NanoBio Node

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tags, a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.