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research interests

My research revolves around the theme of advancing sensor technology to improve human health. How do we make keeping track of one's health status a frictionless experience? By observing what we like to wear and which items we carry around or iteract with everyday, my work explores different ways of incorporating health-tracking into our daily routines in a seamless manner through the use of embedded sensors and intelligent computation. Secondly, with the rise of digital health devices, what do we do with the data generated? I'm interested in using physiological signal processing and machine-learning techniques to create meaningful applications of mobile/wearable sensors.

research projects


Quantifying severity of epileptic seizures using a wearable sensor.

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the leading cause of death directly related to epilepsy and poses a considerable risk to people with uncontrolled epilepsy. How can we identify patients at high risk? Why does a particular seizure become fatal unlike all other seizures in the past? Using wrist-worn biosensors, I studied the impact of seizures on the autonomic nervous system and found that autonomic changes with seizures were correlated with postictal EEG suppression. [more...]


Automatic detection of convulsive seizures using a wearable sensor.

The sudden, unforseen way in which epileptic seizures tend to strike is one of the most disabling aspects of the disorder. Since seizures often cause the loss of consciousness, the ability to detect a seizure event is important for timely treatment. How can we design a seizure detector that is suitable for everyday use in terms of cost, comfort and social acceptance? I developed an algorithm for automatic detection of convulsive seizures based on electrodermal activity and actigraphy using a wrist-worn biosensor. [more...]


Wristband for long-term measurements of electrodermal activity and actigraphy.

Electrodermal activity (also known as skin conductance or galvanic skin response) is a sensitive index of sympathetic nervous system activity. Due to the lack of sensors that can be worn comfortably during normal daily activity and over extensive periods of time, research in this area is limited to laboratory settings or artificial clinical environments. I developed a novel, unobtrusive, nonstigmatizing, wrist-worn integrated sensor suitable for long- term, continuous assessment of electrodermal activity during normal daily activity. [more...]


Medical mirror: Vital signs at a glance.

Digital health devices promise to transform the future of medicine by enabling ordinary people to take a more active role in the management of their own health. How can we simplify the process of performing a self-checkup? I designed and built a new mirror interface that provides real-time measurement of heart rate without the need for physical contact. The medical mirror fits seamlessly into the home environment and blends the data collection process into the course of our daily routines. [more...]


Cardiocam: Contact-free physiological measurements using video imaging.

The option of monitoring a patient's physiological signals via a remote, contact-free approach is important for advancing telemedicine and improving both the access and delivery of primary healthcare. I developed a method for measuring multiple physiological parameters (including heart rate, respiration rate and heart rate variability) using a basic webcam. In addition, we demonstrated that this approach can be extended to perform concurrent measurements of multiple persons. [more...]


Magnetic earring heart rate sensor.

Intelligent design of sensor attachment and the use of advanced signal-processing methods are required for the development of wearable biosensors capable of providing accurate measurement during daily activities. This miniaturized earring sensor can be worn comfortably on the earlobe and contains an embedded accelerometer to provide a motion reference for adaptive noise cancellation. Performance of the sensor was evaluated for three common physical activities, including standing, walking and running. [more...]


Heartphones: Cardiovascular monitoring using earphones and a smartphone.

Many wearable biosensors have failed to gain mass adoption or popular acceptance. While not often emphasized, there is a social aspect to wearable computing. Not only do the design and expense of a wearable computer reflect the user's taste, these factors also influence the wearer's acceptance and opinion of the device. To address this, I integrated physiological sensing capabilities into a platform already widely accepted for daily use, exploiting sensor-embedded earbuds and a smartphone. [more...]


Investigating transport of charged nanoparticles using multiphoton fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

For optimal therapy of solid tumors, nanoparticles must penetrate the interstitial matrix to reach the cancer cells. I developed a multiphoton fluorescence correlation spectroscopy system to probe the effect of charge on the diffusion of quantum dot nanocrystals in collagen and collagen-hyaluronan composite gels of human colon adenocarcinoma. Experimental results suggest that neutral nanoparticles diffuse faster than charged particles. [more...]


Miniaturized on-chip immunoassay.

Antigen presenting cells are active players of the immune system of mammals and essential for the generation of humoral and cellular responses. We developed a miniaturized on-chip immunoassay that uses surface patterned monolayers of bacterial-lipopolysaccharides to induce an immune response in equine macrophages.This system is proposed as an on-chip simulation of immune processes as they occur in the lymphoid tissues.


CD-like microfluidic blood cell sorting device.

Current methods of isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from whole blood samples are difficult and require highly skilled technicians. The goal of this project was to design, fabricate and test a CD-like microfluidic device that automates the separation of PBMC from whole blood samples based on centrifugation. I fabricated a prototype using photolithography and soft-lithography methods and performed testing with human blood samples.

fun stuff


Turnicator: Intelligent bicycle turn indicator.

Bicyclists have to be extremely alert when riding on the street in order to avoid an accident. When making a turn at intersections or switching lanes, there is always the danger of being hit by a motorist, particularly at night. Thus, there is a need for a device that can alert motorists when the bicyclists are about to make a turn or come to a stop. The Turnicator is a simple device that one can strap to the wrist and will blink brightly to attract the attention of motorists when an established hand signal is performed. [more...]


Kasubana: Interactive robotic flower.

Kasubana is a "smart" robotic flower that blooms in a lifelike manner upon sensing human proximity and then orients itself toward the human. This microcontroller-powered mechanical flower that can detect human proximity using electric field imaging, orient itself towards the human, and bloom in response using shape memory alloy actuation. It's an engaging robotic flower with a mind of its own. [more...]


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