Jacobs Prof to Develop Sense-and-Cure Device

Thanks to a recent $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, nanoengineering professor Joseph Wang from the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering will lead a project to develop a “field hospital on a chip” for soldiers on the battlefield.

The system will monitor soldiers’ sweat, tears and blood for signs of trauma, shock, brain injury, fatigue and other medical conditions, then automatically administer necessary medication before they reach a hospital.

“Since the majority of battlefield deaths occur within the first 30 minutes after injury, rapid diagnosis and treatment are crucial for enhancing the survival rate of injured soldiers,” Wang said.

The system will be minimally invasive and utilize recent “enzyme logic” breakthroughs that measure biomarkers and outline the steps necessary to make diagnoses based on biological variables.

“Developing an effective interface between complex physiological processes and implantable devices could have a broader biomedical impact, providing autonomous, individual, ‘on-demand’ medical care, which is the goal of the new field of personalized medicine,” Wang said.