This proposal for EXCELLENCE IN PROJECT-BASED LEARNING and STUDENT SUCCESS outlines a one-year interdisciplinary plan concerning the mechanical properties of elastomers with variable conductivity (CVE’s) for biomedical applications. We seek to discover the structure-property relationships necessary for the production of biomedical sensors through collaboration of undergraduate and graduate (MS) students within the Cal Poly Departments of Science and Engineering. Our key innovation is to simultaneously adhere conductive nanoparticles to elastomers while altering their backbone microstructures. This backbone alteration will significantly effect the elastomer’s macroscopic properties, allowing for the optimization of biomedical sensor applications. This research will be accompanied by equipment and resources available through state-of-the-art laboratories in the Western Coatings Technology Center and Biomedical Engineering Department. The long-term goal of the proposed work is to introduce a CVE into a functioning circuit for the construction of flexible skins, electrical sensors, or stretchable displays. Additionally, we hope this work will foster further interdisciplinary research projects between the Cal Poly Departments of Science and Engineering.
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