May 27, 2022


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From counting blood cells to motion capture, sensors drive patient-centered research | MIT News

Sensors and sensing techniques — from gadgets that rely white blood cells to systems that keep an eye on muscle mass coordination all through rehabilitation — can positively impression health-related study, experts mentioned at the 2021 Sense.nano Symposium.

The digital event focused on how sensing systems are enabling existing professional medical scientific studies and aiding translation of their findings to enhance human wellbeing. That includes leaders from exploration and field, MIT-launched startup providers, and graduate learners, the event was the fifth yearly conference arranged by Perception.nano.

“In this period of large info, sensors are almost everywhere — in our houses and autos, health care gadgets, telephones, and even clothing,” says MIT.nano Director Vladimir Bulović. “This year’s symposium was an exploration of how this breadth of new sensors and new sensing methods will propel the expectations of latest healthcare function, bringing forward new medical observe and improved health and fitness for all.”

The Feeling.nano 2021 speakers mentioned a vary of systems underneath the study themes of human motion reports, physiological checking, imaging at many scales, and units and tactics for amassing specimens and carrying out biopsies. Presenters explained novel exploration methods — this sort of as drawing inspiration from dancers’ motion to analyze how muscle tissue signify rhythm — and novel apps these types of as neural interface wearables to assist humans improved interact with robots and other electronic units.

The symposium also celebrated the re-opening of the MIT Middle for Scientific and Translational Research (CCTR, formerly the MIT Analysis Medical Center). Alongside with reworked overall health labs for exploration members, the CCTR attributes a prototype workshop, motion capture lab, and observation and instrumentation suites for MIT and visiting human wellness scientists.

“SENSE.nano 2021 introduced alongside one another nanoscience, nanotechnology, and the observe of medication by our shared and central services — MIT.nano and the new CCTR,” claims Brian Anthony, the associate director of MIT.nano and principal exploration scientist in the Division of Mechanical Engineering. “MIT.nano has the tools to help fabrication and design and style of sensors, and the CCTR has the clinical study space to examine how these sensors can assistance healthcare observe.”

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The individual-centered application of several sensing systems made use of in health-related research, which includes motion capture and wearable analytic gadgets, tends to make it much more important than at any time to consist of individuals as active individuals in this sort of exploration, mentioned keynote speaker Cecilia Stuopis, health-related director of MIT Health care.

“We want the evaluation of thoughts and outcomes meaningful and important to sufferers and caregivers to be central to the approach, since we want to figure out that they have special perspectives, values, and targets for what we are striving to find out or carry out,” Stuopis stated.

Encouraging collaborative associations involving researchers and wellbeing-treatment vendors has the opportunity to shorten the regular 17-12 months gap concerning primary study and its widespread acceptance in the clinic, she added, in element by connecting scientists with underserved populations who could not typically participate in medical trials.

The symposium showcased speakers from more than 10 MIT departments, labs, or facilities (DLCs), which include mechanical engineering, organic engineering, chemistry, and personal computer science and artificial intelligence. Their displays underscored the multidisciplinary reach of sensors analysis. Mechanical engineering Associate Professor Jeehwan Kim shown a perforated electronic skin, which can obtain physiological info from the body without becoming damaged by sweat. Inspired by her grandmother’s stroke, Kaymie Shiozawa, a mechanical engineering graduate scholar, shared her get the job done on human equilibrium that she hopes will lead to a new robotic cane. In the imaging session, Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry Moungi Bawendi talked about a noninvasive approach of utilizing close to-infrared and shortwave infrared to monitor the progression of liver condition.

As in previous decades, Sense.nano 2021 also highlighted the innovation ecosystem at MIT, with shows by MIT-released startups working to mature their concepts to scale.

MIT.nano and the CCTR are united by their lively engagement with startup companies, stated Brian Anthony. For instance, ongoing reports at the center have aided Leuko, a startup that will make a product for non-invasive, at-property white blood mobile monitoring, refine and boost its item. Leuko was a person of three clinical sensor startups showcased in this year’s symposium, along with Pison Know-how and Stratagen Bio.

Sense.nano 2021 was sponsored by MIT.nano, the MIT Industrial Liaison Application, and the MIT Middle for Medical and Translational Analysis.