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Engineering Seminar: Simin Masihi

This is a past event.

Friday, March 11, 2022 3pm

“Flexible Hybrid Electronics Can Make Physiology Measurements More Accessible”
 by Simin Masihi, pursuing her Ph.D. degree in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Western Michigan University
During the recent outbreak of the COVID pandemic, one of the worldwide challenges has been the disparity between the availability of healthcare devices and the number of patients who need these services. In addition, it was reported that people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disorders, preferred to postpone their regular checkups to avoid the crowd at hospitals and clinics during the pandemic. These scenarios have highlighted the critical need for new measuring methods of physiological metrics that can make healthcare services more accessible to all people in a less supervised setting. Wouldn’t it be a game changer if dry electrocardiograph (ECG) electrodes can be laminated inside a shirt for continuous monitoring of heart activity, or smart shoe insoles that can be monitor and aid in healing a diabetics’ foot ulcer?

Flexible hybrid electronics technology (FHE) utilizes rapid low-cost fabrication techniques for prototyping conformal structures that can fit onto the curvilinear surfaces of human skin/organs. This technology enables the design and fabrication of smart wearable sensors that can integrate to the internet of things (IoT), thus enabling “at-home” monitoring. Highly sensitive fabric-based sensory systems can be developed for monitoring the ECG signals, photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals, blood saturated oxygen level, and electroencephalography (EEG) signals. The incredible benefits of this new fabrication technology are not limited to the healthcare industry, and FHE can even bring new possibilities for improving the health and safety of athletes in sports. For example, severe concussions can be prevented using a highly sensitive pressure sensor cap that, when worn under a football helmet, could help reveal whether the headgear is a perfect fit to provide the necessary protection during falls and impacts in the field.
Design and fabrication of wearable health monitoring devices using FHE technology can be accomplished by the collaboration of creative students in different degrees. FHE has integrated several fields such as microelectronics, mechanics, physics, materials science, computer science, biology, etc., and thus participation of engineers from different majors can make a difference in this process.

Simin Masihi received her B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran, in 2010, and her M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Adiban Institute of Higher Education, Garmsar, Iran, in 2016. She is currently a Doctoral Associate, pursuing her Ph.D. degree in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Western Michigan University (WMU), Kalamazoo, MI, USA. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant in the ECE department for multiple semesters. She has also mentored four groups of senior design students in completing their bachelor’s project, one of which has won the first-place prize for the best student paper award at IEEE Sensors 2020 – out of 375 publications at a flagship conference in the field of sensors. She works as a research assistant for Dr. Massood Atashbar at the Center for Advanced Smart Sensors and Structures (CASSS). She has a great passion for making a positive influence on people’s health and quality of life. Her research is primarily focused on the design and fabrication of smart wearable sensors that use flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) technology to facilitate more accessible and cost-efficient physiology measurements. Her research activities on FHE for wearable and health monitoring applications have resulted in 36 peer-reviewed prestigious journal publications, international proceedings, intellectual property disclosures, and patent applications. 

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