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Proceedings Paper

Probing human skin as an information-rich biological interface using MEMS-based informatics
Author(s): Shekhar Bhansali; H. Thurman Henderson; Steven B. Hoath
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes our investigation of the dynamic, information rich, mOlecular structure of the ultimate smart interface — human skin - by coupling advances in biological, Microsystems, and information technology. The outer layer of human skin, the stratum comeum, is a biologically complex thin film that has unique molecular mechanisms that allow it to function simultaneously as a structural and as a perceptual interface. It is continuously "sampled" by the brain in terms of visual, tactile, and olfactory cues. It interfaces the organism with its environment and has unique micro/nano architecture from an engineering standpoint; e.g., it simultaneously retains and uses water to plasticize the membrane for flexibility. This paper focuses on the development of a sampling interface and MEMS components for a freestanding, multifunctional, multimode, microfluidics-based sensor system for real time physiological monitoring. This research will enable us to gain an insight into the functioning of the human at a fundamental level (from cellular to population) that has not been possible before.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 March 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4235, Smart Structures and Devices, (21 March 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.420850
Show Author Affiliations
Shekhar Bhansali, Univ. of South Florida (United States)
H. Thurman Henderson, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)
Steven B. Hoath, Univ. of Cincinnati (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4235:
Smart Structures and Devices
Dinesh K. Sood; Ronald Albert Lawes; Vasundara V. Varadan, Editor(s)

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