ME Seminar: Biodegradable sensors and energy-harvesters for next-gene...
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Speaker: Levent Beker

Title: Biodegradable sensors and energy-harvesters for next-generation transient and self-powered implants

Date/Time: December 29, 2017  /  13:40-14:30

Place: FENS 2019

Abstract:
Implantable medical devices and the concept of integrating sensors/electronics onto the human body
have been intriguing curiosities especially in medicine for many years. Recent developments in
microfabrication and materials science finally have led to realization of these devices such as wearable
devices for health monitoring and battery-free implants for patients having heart rate failure. In this talk
I will try to give
My talk will start with a new form of implantable device made up of flexible/biodegradable materials for
short term pulse monitoring. I will detail design and fabrication of the proposed implant and focus on
some particular applications. Then, I will talk about energy harvesting implantable devices that can
generate electrical energy within the human body. My focus will be on neural and cochlear implants which
increase the quality of life of patients considerably by giving them the ability to move freely and hear.
However, because of their power requirement, neural implant users must undergo surgery every 2-3
years, and cochlear implant users need to change the battery at least twice a day. I will discuss how microelectro-
mechanical systems (MEMS) placed inside the human body can help to reduce or eliminate this
battery problem. I will talk about harvesting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow pressure fluctuations within
lateral ventricles of the brain using an AlN/Si based piezoelectric-MEMS harvester. Then, in the final part
of my talk, I will explain how to convert eardrum vibrations to electrical signals to stimulate auditory
nerves inside cochlea using a PZT/Si harvester to realize a self-powered cochlear implant.
Short Bio
Levent received BSc. and MSc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Micro/Nanotechnology from
Middle East Technical University in 2010 and 2013, respectively. During his masters he worked on fullyimplantable
cochlear implants. Then, he received PhD. in Mechanical Engineering from University of
California, Berkeley in 2017 where he worked on energy harvesting from CSF flow inside the brain and
pressure sensors for harsh environment applications. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher working
with Prof. Zhenan Bao in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. His research focuses on
biodegradable implants and flexible sensors for artificial skin applications.
Contact: Bekir Bediz