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PhD Thesis Proposal: Andrew Closson



2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Rm 101, MacLean ESC/Online

For info on how to attend via videoconference, email andrew.b.closson.th@dartmouth.edu.

"Piezoelectric and conductive polymer-based flexible devices enabling cardiovascular health sensing and energy harvesting"


Piezoelectric materials offer exciting opportunities in the future of low-power wearable and implantable sensing. However, standard piezoelectric materials are rigid and thus are difficult to integrate with biological tissue. For this reason, researchers have begun investigating polymer-based functional materials for applications that require flexibility, such as interfacing with the human body. Currently, these potentially disruptive materials are still in their infancy and a framework is needed to illustrate how the utilization of these materials with novel fabrication techniques and device designs can lead to the development of multi-functional material enabled sensing and energy harvesting devices. This thesis proposes to utilize highly scalable fabrication methods for functional polymers to build and test a flexible piezoelectric transducer for applications such as wearable sensing and implantable energy harvesting.

This thesis will explore a testbed for developing for cardiovascular health monitoring and energy harvesting. Electrospinning will be investigated as a fabrication technique for developing highly sensitive, micro-structured, piezoelectric and conductive nanofibers. Device fabrication will make use of highly scalable electrode patterning methods such as inkjet printing. Benchtop testing will be used to simulate biological systems for device characterization and development of parameter of interest predictive algorithms. Animal and will provide an evaluation of the device design and validity of the developed. Together, this thesis will provide a framework for the development of multi-functional material enabled sensing and energy harvesting devices.

Thesis Committee

  • Prof. John Zhang (Chair)
  • Prof. William Scheideler
  • Prof. Bo Zhu
  • Marc D. Feldman (external: UTHSCSA)


For more information, contact Theresa Fuller at theresa.d.fuller@dartmouth.edu.