Flexible bio-degradable electronics for on-skin mouse ECG monitoring

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences

Abstract

Animal models (particularly mice) are widely used for pre-clinical testing and discovery biology. This PhD will focus on materials for non-invasive systems for mouse vital sign monitoring. This will i) provide an important advance for immediate pre-clinical cardiovascular research at UoM, ii) drive refinement of animal use in research (a major N3Rs commitment), and iii) provide a device that will be applicable to a wide range of pre-clinical test situations. Current work in CI Bechtold's lab focuses on time-of-day prevalence of potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias.

The work builds on a number of EPSRC funded projects investigating flexible printed electronics for on-skin use by humans. These operate as "temporary tattoos", similar to rub-on tattoos given to children, but now with electronics added. This work has been done in collaboration with the high value manufacturing catapult to investigate scale-up and the suitability of systems and processes for mass production.

In this PhD we will seek to build on this base and modify our current approaches to make them suitable for on-mouse use. The aim is to make a step change in the burden that sensing typically places on a mouse. Current heart and motion sensors are implanted, thus increasing stress to the animal and welfare burden. There is a significant desire from the research community for improving their design. To do this, on-skin devices have to be much smaller, necessitating small feature size printing. They also have to be easy to put on the mouse, necessitating investigating new substrates for flexibility/strechability.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022201/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2263080 Studentship EP/S022201/1 03/09/2019 30/09/2023 Liam Stuart Johnson