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We have fabricated a simple-structured, low-cost flexible pressure sensor by vacuum infusion of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) into the carbon aerogel made from cotton. Carbon aerogel (CA), the key sensing element, can be easily fabricated in large scale by a totally green, chemical-free synthetic method with cheap and ubiquitous cotton as the only raw material. By integrating the flexible pressure sensor with sport shoe and waist belt, real time sport performance (such as working and running pace) and health condition (breathing) monitoring have been demonstrated.
Schematics of the fabrication of wearable pressure sensor: (1) raw cotton, (2) carbon aerogel, (3) CA/PDMS composite, (4) CA/PDMS pressure sensor, sensors integrated with sport shoe (5) and waist belt (6).
In collaboration with Biomedical Engineering Department, we have investigated the characteristics of carbon nanoparticles (carbon nanotubes and graphene) as drug delivery vehicles for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).