CRII: SCH: Compact and Affordable, Non-intrusive mmWave and IoT enabled skin monitors - A Synergy for Chronic Skin Wound Grant

CRII: SCH: Compact and Affordable, Non-intrusive mmWave and IoT enabled skin monitors - A Synergy for Chronic Skin Wound .


  • Chronic skin wounds resulting from burns, diabetes, ulcers, and other medical conditions can overwhelm the skin's regenerative capabilities, leading to persistent infections and even amputations in severe cases. Over 10 million patients with chronic wounds are treated yearly in the United States, with an estimated cost of more than US $ 40 billion in annual spending for treatment. Accurate diagnosis of chronic skin wounds, particularly in the early stage, can provide efficient and targeted treatment, ultimately reducing patient suffering. Current burn wound diagnosis and prognosis are limited to visual inspection by the physician and patients are physically required to be in the medical center to undergo expensive wound imaging approaches or the excruciating process of repeated bandage removals for inspection. Even with the latest advances in health, smart bandages can only aid in drug releases and do not provide real-time diagnosis nor monitoring. This proposed research aims to overcome the obstacles associated with existing burn wound profiling by developing transformational imaging and wound monitoring approaches that can be readily integrated with existing smart bandages to provide real-time information of the wound state without affecting their daily routine. This project will also foster workforce development in the rapidly growing area of bio-medical wireless engineering. New degrees and new curricula in biosensing and IoT technologies will be leveraged to promote STEM outreach programs and coordinate outreach activities. The latter will be aimed at recruiting larger cohorts of undergraduates and K-12 students from the local Miami-Dade and Broward counties to be trained in wireless engineering. Examples of our signature outreach programs to be leveraged include Engineers on Wheels, Engineering Expo, ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education), and the Miami PREP (Positive Youth Preparedness) programs.

    Accurate diagnosis and prognosis of a skin wound treatment commonly require the measurement of the wound area, maximal wound depth, the chemical composition of wound exudate, and type of tissue affected. In addition, sensors for non-intrusive diagnosis need to overcome the following challenges, namely 1) attenuation provided by bandages, 2) adherence to regulatory requirements while employing radio frequency (RF) sensors, 3) avoiding battery-powered electronics, and 4) accurate diagnosis across demographics. The proposed development of a non-intrusive, affordable, wireless real-time wound assessment device that can be easily integrated to a smart bandage is transformative as it unites the interdisciplinary research areas of biomedical engineering, network engineering, and electromagnetism towards a single goal. Specifically, the PI will be working closely with bio-medical researchers towards the, 1) Development of mmWave sensing system to estimate skin wound depth with ~0.1 mm accuracy, through electrical impedance spectroscopy, by computing the variation of the skin impedance as the wound depth varies, and 2) Realization of IoT-based wireless connectivity employing low-power low-cost protocol to transfer vital wound healing details obtained using integrated electrical, electrochemical and RF mmWave sensors, in a reduced SWAP-C package. The proposed research capabilities have the potential to revolutionize medical imaging tools for remote assessment of skin burn injuries, ulcers, and other chronic skin wounds, benefiting the global society by realizing a safe, accurate, and self-reliant burn-wound monitoring system.

    This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

date/time interval

  • October 1, 2021 - September 30, 2023

sponsor award ID

  • 2104879