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Conference Details - Agenda

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Launch of Sense.nano: MIT.nano's first Center of Excellence

Augmenting our natural senses - Ubiquitous Sensing: From Ideas to Impact
May 25, 2017
Day 01 All

8:00 - 8:30


8:30 - 8:45


8:45 - 9:30


9:30 - 9:50

From Person-and-Machine to Environment-and-Ecosystem
The impetus for the SENSE.nano is the recognition that novel sensors and sensing system are bound to provide previously unimaginable insight into the condition of individuals, as well as built and natural world, to positively impact people, machines, and environment. Advances in nano-sciences and nano-technologies, pursued by many at MIT, now offer unprecedented opportunities to realize designs for, and at-scale manufacturing of, unique sensors and sensing systems, while leveraging data-science and IoT infrastructure.
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9:50 - 10:10

From Flexible Fibers to Nanomagnetics: Minimally Invasive Sensors and Actuators of Neural Activity
Mammalian nervous system contains billions of neurons that exchange electrical, chemical and mechanical signals. Our ability to study this complexity is limited by the lack of technologies available for interrogating neural circuits across their diverse signaling modalities without inducing a foreign-body reaction. My talk will describe neural interface strategies pursued in my group aimed at mimicking the materials properties and transduction mechanisms of the nervous system. First, I will describe how fiber-drawing methods traditionally used by telecom and photonics industries can deliver neural probes capable of simultaneous electrical neural recording, optical stimulation, and drug and gene delivery into the brain and spinal cord of freely moving subjects. I will then show how these devices can be applied to direct neural growth and activity facilitating repair of damaged nerves. This talk will conclude with the description of an entirely wireless neuromodulation paradigm that relies on heat sensitivity in neurons and hysteretic heat dissipation by magnetic nanomaterials in alternating magnetic fields.
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10:10 - 10:30

Transforming Nanotechnologies into Applications
While trillions of sensors that will soon connected to the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) promise to transform our lives, they simultaneously pose major obstacles, which we are already encountering today. The massive amount of generated raw data (i.e., the “data deluge”) is quickly exceeding computing capabilities, and cannot be overcome by isolated improvements in sensors, transistors, memories, or architectures alone. Rather, an end-to-end approach is needed, whereby the unique benefits of new emerging nanotechnologies – for sensors, memories, and transistors – are exploited to realize new system architectures that are not possible with today’s technologies. However, emerging nanomaterials and nanodevices suffer from significant imperfections and variations. Thus, realizing working circuits, let alone transformative nanosystems, has been infeasible. In this talk, I present a path towards realizing these future systems in the near-term, and show how based on the progress of several emerging nanotechnologies (carbon nanotubes for logic, non-volatile memories for data storage, and new materials for sensing), we can begin realizing these systems today. As a case-study, I will discuss how by leveraging emerging nanotechnologies, we have realized the first monolithically-integrated three-dimensional (3D) nanosystem architectures with vertically-integrated layers of logic, memory, and sensing circuits. With dense and fine-grained connectivity between millions of on-chip sensors, data storage, and embedded computation, such nanosystems can capture terabytes of data from the outside world every second, and produce “processed information” by performing in-situ classification of the sensor data using on-chip accelerators. As a demonstration, we tailor a demo system for gas classification, for real-time health monitoring from breath.
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10:30 - 10:50

Mechanically flexible photonic sensors
Conventional integrated photonic devices are fabricated on rigid semiconductor or dielectric substrates. Over the past few years, we have developed a suite of active and passive photonic devices and systems integrated on plastic substrates which can be bent, twisted, and stretched without compromising their optical performance. In this talk, we will review the latest progress in multi-material photonic integration on unconventional flexible substrates, and discuss emerging sensing applications of flexible photonics.

10:50 - 11:05

Networking Break

11:05 - 11:25

Molecular Electronics for Chemical Sensors
This lecture will detail the creation of ultrasensitive sensors based on electronically active conjugated polymers (CPs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). A central concept that a single nano- or molecular-wire spanning between two electrodes would create an exceptional sensor if binding of a molecule of interest to it would block all electronic transport. The use of molecular electronic circuits to give signal gain is not limited to electrical transport and CP-based fluorescent sensors can provide ultratrace detection of chemical vapors via amplification resulting from exciton migration. Nanowire networks of CNTs provide for a practical approximation to the single nanowire scheme. These methods include abrasion deposition and selectivity is generated by covalent and/or non-covalent binding selectors/receptors to the carbon nanotubes. Sensors for a variety of materials and cross-reactive sensor arrays will be described. The use of carbon nanotube based gas sensors for the detection of ethylene and other gases relevant to agricultural and food production/storage/transportation are being specifically targeted and can be used to create systems that increase production, manage inventories, and minimize losses.
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11:25 - 11:45

The Mid-IR Silicon Photonics Sensor Platform
Advances in integrated silicon photonics are enabling highly connected sensor networks that offer sensitivity, selectivity and pattern recognition. Such miniaturized optical sensors are ideal for non-invasive applications. Case studies like high sensitivity analyte detection in solution, and gas sensing in air, provide good insight into the tradeoffs being made en route to ubiquitous sensor deployment.

11:45 - 12:05

Engineering the Nanoparticle Corona for Sensors at New Biological Interfaces
Our lab at MIT has been interested in how the nanoparticle corona – the region of adsorbed molecules surrounding the particle surface - can be engineered for molecular recognition. We have recently introduced a method we call CoPhMoRe or Corona Phase Molecular Recognition for discovering synthetic, heteropolymer corona phases that form molecular recognition sites at the nanoparticle interface, selected from a heteropolymer library. We show that certain synthetic heteropolymers , once constrained onto a single-walled carbon nanotube by chemical adsorption, also form a new corona phase that exhibits highly selective recognition for specific molecules. We have a growing list of biomolecules that we can detect using this approach including riboflavin, L-thyroxine, dopamine, nitric oxide, sugar alcohols, estradiol, as well as proteins such as fibrinogen. The results have significant potential in light of the fact that nanoparticles such as single walled carbon nanotubes can be interfaced to biological systems at the sub-cellular level, with unprecedented sensitivity. Several recent demonstrates indicate that spatial and temporal information on cellular chemical signaling can be obtained using arrays of such sensors. Other examples including sensor tattoos for mice, stable for more than 400 days in-vivo, will be shown. Lastly, I will highlight recent advances to control the trafficking and localization of nanoparticle systems in living plants using a mechanism that we call Lipid Exchange Envelope Penetration (LEEP). We demonstrate a living plant, interfaced with multiple nanoparticle types that can detect explosives, ATP and dopamine within or from outside the plant, and communicate this information to a user’s cell phone. Engineering the nanoparticle corona in this way offers significant potential to translate sensor technology to previously inaccessible environments.
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12:05 - 12:25

Magnifying vibrations in bridges and buildings - seeing tiny vibrations in large structures.
To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. These large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations that, depending on their frequency, may indicate instability or structural damage. We have developed a technique to “see” vibrations that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, combining high-speed video with computer vision techniques. A technique called “motion magnification” to break down high-speed frames into certain frequencies, essentially exaggerating tiny, subpixel motions.
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12:25 - 12:45

STEX Presentation
Marcie Black, CEO & Co-Founder, Advanced Silicon Group
Ioannis (John) Kymissis, CTO & Co-Founder, Chromation
Jan Schnorr, CEO & Co-Founder, C2Sense
Dr. Roger Nassar, CEO & Founder, RAN Biotechnologies
Pavel Bystricky, CTO & Co-Founder, American Boronite Corporation
Matthew Carey, Director of Business Development, Humatics
Romain Lacombe, CEO & Co-Founder, Plume Labs
Andy Vidan, CEO, Composable Analytics
Xinjie (Jeff) Zhang, CEO & Co-Founder, Novarials Corporation
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12:45 - 2:00

Lunch Break, Networking and STEX Demos

2:00 - 2:45

Afternoon Keynote

2:45 - 3:05

A new approach for personalized medicine in cancer
In this talk, I will present a microchannel resonator for weighing single cells with unprecedented precision and describe how it can be used in a new approach for personalized medicine in cancer.

3:05 - 3:25

Printable electronics - functional features at nanoscale dimensions.
There is a huge need for printing of electronic devices that are extremely inexpensive but provide simple computations and interactive functions. Our new printing process is an enabling technology for high-performance, fully printed electronics, including transistors, optically functional surfaces, and ubiquitous sensors.

3:25 - 3:45

Toward nanocrystal sensors
Our laboratory focuses on the science and applications of nanocrystals, especially semiconductor nanocrystal (aka quantum dots). Our research ranges from the very fundamental to applications in electro-optics and biology. There is an ongoing effort to address the challenges of making new compositions and morphologies of nanocrystals and nanocrystal heterostructures, and new ligands so that the nanocrystals can be incorporated into hybrid organic/inorganic devices, or biological systems. We are collaborating with a number of biology and medical groups to design nanocrystal probes that meet specific challenges.
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3:45 - 4:00

Networking Break

4:00 - 5:30

Panel: Sensing, Society & Technology
Panel Chair: Tom Ashbrook
Panelists: Rod Brooks, Vladimir Bulovic, David Mindell

5:30 - 6:00

1 Minute Poster Pitches

6:00 - 7:00

Poster Session with Refreshments


Closing Remarks