Francis and Frisbie part of UMN team researching wearable electronics to treat brain disorders

Oct. 16, 2014 - A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota, including CEMS Professors Lorraine Francis and C. Daniel Frisbie, has its sights set on treating the symptoms of tinnitus, the first in a line of neurological disorders — without the need for surgery. These experts, ranging from computer engineers to apparel designers, are working together to develop a groundbreaking new technology—thin, wearable electronics that attach to the skin and deliver low electric currents to specific regions of the brain and decrease symptoms of brain disorders. The project is part of MnDRIVE (Minnesota's Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy), a $36 million biennial investment by the state of Minnesota that aims to solve grand challenges.
Chris Kim, the project's lead principle investigator, needed the help of Francis and Frisbie to create complex circuits that carefully synchronize multiple nodes that all fire at different times. For the device to work as a wearable patch, researchers not only need to design thin, flexible electronics, but also an efficient method of making them. The team aims to refine a method called “roll-to-roll� printing that can produce flexible electronics more quickly and efficiently than the standard, time-consuming method of laying electrical components down in multiple layers.
This article first appeared in Inquiry, a publication of the University of Minnesota's Office of the Vice President for Research.

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