NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

NERC FOR ADVANCED SELF-POWERED SYSTEMS OF SENSORS

AND TECHNOLOGIES (ASSIST)

VEENA MISRA, DIRECTOR

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV., PENN STATE UNIV., UNIV. VIRGINIA, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV., KOREA

ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, TOKYO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, UNIV. ADELAIDE

The vision of ASSIST is to use nanotechnology to improve global health by enabling correlation between personal health and personal environment and by empowering patients and doctors to manage wellness and improve quality of life. ASSIST's nano-enabled energy harvesting, energy storage, nanoscale transistors and sensors will produce innovative, self-powered, wearable health monitoring systems that provide long-term sensing to enable effective management of chronic conditions and improve quality of life outcomes. ASSIST will advance environmental health research and policy and strengthen clinical trials. This vision, guided by industry partners, environmental/social scientists, and medical practitioners, will address the NAE Grand Challenge of Advanced Health Informatics.

The mission of ASSIST is to transform U.S. and global health informatics, electronics, and biomedical engineering industries through development of enabling nanotechnologies for energy harvesting, battery-free energy storage, and ultra-low power computation and communication, integrated with physiological and ambient nanosensors and biocompatible materials, to empower personal environmental health monitoring and emergency response. ASSIST goals are to:

-Advance discovery through fundamental knowledge and innovative solutions in human body energy harvesting and energy storage based on thermoelectrics, piezoelectrics and supercapacitors.

-Leverage nanostructured materials/structures to improve system energy efficiency orders of magnitude.

-Demonstrate wearable, reliable, low power, non-invasive sensors for health and environment and develop robust techniques for heterogeneous and hierarchical systems integration.

-Design intelligent power management for battery-free sensing, computation, and communication.

-Develop systems integration requirements, incorporating research on human and social factors, and demonstrate Exposure Tracking and Wellness Tracking testbeds.

-Create a culture of team-based research, education, and innovation, employing a diverse group focused on research, design, and production of solutions and systems for health and safety.

Form partnerships with precollege institutions to strengthen the STEM pipeline and promote technical literacy and motivation to contribute to solving NAE Grand Challenges.

Intellectual Merit: ASSIST's research on high-efficiency nanostructured, flexible thermoelectrics and nanodomain piezoelectrics will enhance harvested power levels from the human body while novel nanostructured electrodes will increase the storage density of capacitors. Exploration of nanoscale quantum well and quantum wire structures coupled with strain engineering will enhance the performance and reduce the energy consumption of advanced CMOS devices. Precise atomic scale control of heterostructured interfaces will significantly improve the energy efficiency of complementary inter-band tunnel transistors. Investigation of novel sensing modalities enabled by nanomaterials, will significantly reduce power levels and increase functionality of self-powered systems. For example, nanoenabled dry adhesives, nano-hydrogel composites, nanowires, nanomembranes and nano-enabled materials for enhanced light absorption and detection will result in high performance sensors. ASSIST will integrate these technologies into systems with intelligent power management strategies using hierarchical integration from nanoscale materials and devices to the human body interface.

Broader Impacts: Direct correlation of individual environmental exposure to health response for understanding impacts on chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, allergies, heart disease, autoimmune disease); Long-term sensing of critical environmental triggers and health vitals, leading to unprecedented data/tools for public health research and clinical trials; Enhanced understanding of onset and progression of disease and its effective management; Better informed environmental health regulatory policymaking; New tools for disaster emergency response; More rapid diagnosis and improved treatment effectiveness; Strengthened STEM pipeline to engineering careers through intensive school partnerships; Enhanced public science literacy and diversity of U.S. engineering graduates.

StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/128/31/22

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $37,836,660.00

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