Workshop on Innovations in Biomaterials Science

Translational Bioelectronics

October 12, 2021
11:00 am EDT

Bioelectronics describes the interfacing of engineered electronic systems with biological tissues, or alternatively electronic devices that take on bio-inspired functionality. With improvements and innovation in both active and passive materials, bioelectronic systems are poised to make significant advances in diagnostics and therapeutics as well as robotics and prosthetics. With advances in materials, devices, and systems, considerations for implementation takes on added importance. The push for clinical and commercial translation, especially from early state concepts and prototypes requires special consideration, limitations, and barriers. This MRS/SFB joint webinar aims to highlight established and up-and-coming concepts in bioelectronics across a number of application areas. This webinar will highlight barriers and considerations for translation, and to showcase examples of early stage clinical implementation and commercialization.


  • Translational Neuroelectronics
    Dion Khodagholy
    , Columbia University
  • Biomaterials Strategies Towards Seamless Tissue Integration of Bioelectronics
    Tracy Cui, University of Pittsburgh
  • Soft and Wearable Microfluidic Systems for Personalized Physiological and Metabolic Health Tracking and Management
    Roozbeh Ghaffari
    , Northwestern University
  • Biohybrid Robotics and Challenges on the Path to Translation
    Vickie Webster-Wood
    , Carnegie Mellon University


Jonathan Rivnay, Northwestern University

Jonathan Rivnay earned his BS degree in 2006 from Cornell University. He then moved to Stanford University where he earned MS and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering, studying the structure and electronic transport properties of organic electronic materials. In 2012, he joined the Department of Bioelectronics at the Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne in France as a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow, working on conducting polymer-based devices for bioelectronics. Rivnay spent 2015-2016 as a member of the research staff in the Printed Electronics group at the Palo Alto Research Center before joining the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in 2017. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award, ONR Young Investigator award, and has been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, and MRS Outstanding Early Career Investigator.



Tracy Cui, University of Pittsburgh

Tracy Cui is the William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of the Neural Tissue/Electrode Interface and Neural Tissue Engineering Laboratory. Cui earned her BE degree in polymer materials and chemical engineering and her MS degree in biophysics at Tsinghua University.  She earned her PhD degree in macromolecular science and engineering at the University of Michigan. In Cui’s lab, the primary research focus is on the interactions between neural tissue and smart biomaterials with special focuses on neural electrode-tissue interface, neural tissue engineering, central nervous system drug delivery, and biosensors. Cui has won numerous awards, including the 2017 Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016 Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2013 and 2014 Peking University Engineering Globex Fellow, 2013 Carnegie Science Emerging Female Scientist Award, 2009, 2011 and 2015 Pitt Innovator Award, 2008 National Science Foundation Career Award and 2005 Wallace Coulter Foundation Translational Early Career Award.  She is on the editorial board of the Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, Journal of Neural Engineering, and Advanced NanoBiomed Research.


Roozbeh Ghaffari, Northwestern University

Roozbeh Ghaffari is co-founder and CEO of Epicore Biosystems, Inc., a company developing a proprietary wearable microfluidic sensing platform. He also serves as an associate research professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, and is Director of Translational Research at the Querrey-Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics. Ghaffari holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his PhD degree in biomedical engineering from the Harvard Medical School-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. Upon completion of his PhD degree, Ghaffari co-founded MC10 Inc (acquired by Medidata Inc), and served as Chief Technology Officer. In this role, he led the development and commercial launch of the BioStamp health monitoring platform. His contributions in soft bioelectronics, micro/nano-scale systems, and auditory neuroscience research have been recognized with the Helen Carr Peake PhD Research Prize, MIT 100K Grand Prize, and MIT Technology Review Magazine's Top 35 Innovators Under 35. He has published over 100 academic papers and is inventor on over 50 issued patents.

Dion Khodagholy, Columbia University

Dion Khodagholy is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. This was followed by a second Master’s degree in Microelectronics at the Ecole des Mines. He attained his PhD degree in Microelectronics at the Department of Bioelectronics (BEL) of the Ecole des Mines. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in systems neuroscience at New York University, Langone Medical Center.  His research aims to use unique properties of materials for the purpose of designing and developing novel electronic devices that allow efficient interaction with biological substrates, specifically neural networks and the brain. This process involves design, characterization, and fabrication of high-performance biocompatible electronics to acquire and analyze neural data. The ultimate goal is to translate such advances in electronics, materials and neuroscience into more effective diagnostics and treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases.

Vickie Webster-Wood, Carnegie Mellon University

Vickie Webster-Wood is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University with courtesy appointments in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. She is the director of the C.M.U. Biohybrid and Organic Robotics Group and has a long-term research goal to develop completely organic, autonomous robots with programmable neural circuits. Research in the C.M.U. B.O.R.G. brings together bio-inspired robotics, tissue engineering, and computational neuroscience to study and model neuromuscular control and translate findings to the creation of renewable robotic devices.  Webster-Wood completed her postdoc as an N.I.H. Ruth L. Kirschstein N.R.S.A. Postdoctoral Fellow at Case Western Reserve University in the Tissue Fabrication and Mechanobiology Lab. She received her PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the same institution as an N.S.F. Graduate Research Fellow in the Biologically Inspired Robotics Lab. She received the NSF CAREER Award in 2021 and is a co-PI of the N.S.F. NeuroNex Network on Communication, Coordination, and Control in Neuromechanical Systems (C3NS). Her work has been featured by many media outlets, including features in Popular Mechanics, NPR’s Science Friday, and a video segment in FOX’s Nature Knows Best.