Micro And Nano Technology

Dean M. Aslamaslam@msu.edu | www.egr.msu.edu/~aslam


Research in the Micro And Nano Technology Laboratory (MANTL) includes Fabric-embedded Biomedical Inexpensive Micro Systems (BIMS) for brain disorders, mind-controlled and wall-climber robots, carbon-based Single Material MEMS (SMM), Technology Assisted Solar-energy Smart-systems (TASS), maple-seed-inspired microdrones, energy scavenging from static charges, Functionalized Bricks with Embedded Intelligence (FBEI) for K-12 outreach, UG and graduate education, workforce training and multi-disciplinary (dancing, cognitive training, bullying, etc.) research. Recently, the director of MANL (Dean Aslam) has been elected member of National Academy of Inventers.

Fabric-embedded BIMS

Electrical signals, originating from brain, heart and muscles in the human body, are crucial for proper functioning of the body and can be detected by EEG, EKG and EMG devices. In contrast to the conventional use of these devices by medical professionals to monitor disorders, recent collaborations between engineers, psychologists and other scientists are leading to monitoring and analyzing a person’s sleep patterns, exercise, diet and body parameters (BP, T, heart rate, etc.) to predict individual’s happiness and performance at the workplace. 

The current research in MANTL focuses on design, fabrication and testing of a master chip capable of measuring EEG, EKG (ECG) and EMG for the study of (a) 24-hour healthcare monitoring, neural disorders, role of brainwaves in brain communication networks, prosthetics and (b) mind-controlled smart homes, games and robots. Fabric-embedded EEG/EKG/EMG sensors and Microsystems are crucial for this research.

Technology Assisted Smart Solar-systems (TASS)

Using cutting-edge technologies from the market and development of new solar-cell MEMS technologies, next generation solar systems and micro-fabricated solar-powered nightlight devices are being developed in MANTL.

Single Material MEMS (SMM)

As diamond is bio-compatible, the MSU researchers demonstrated MEMS and SMM probe arrays using microcrystalline diamond (MCD) for the first time. Current work focuses on the use of ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) EEG sensors in the study of personal healthcare, neural disorders and prosthetics. This research is conducted in collaboration with researchers from UT Dallas (Professor Orlando Auciello).

Maple-seed Inspired Microdrones

Passive maple-seed fliers are being developed for monitoring hard-to-reach and dangerous areas using drone-like remote-linked microfabricated systems. The passive Microdrones are unique to MSU.  A related worked, called Michigan Microdrones, for harsh weather applications are being investigated jointly by researchers from U of Michigan (Profs. D. Possalt and J. Guo) and Michigan State University (Prof. D. Aslam) since the beginning of 2014.

Fuctionalized Bricks with Embedded Intelligence (FBEI)

While we all know the importance of education, research and entrepreneurship for learners of different backgrounds, the challenge is to find ways to ignite the interest of the learners. FBEIs, developed at Michigan State during 2000 – 2010 and funded by NSF ERC for WIMS, have sparked the interest of learners at all levels, K through Ph.D., because they are hands-on and open-design. Additionally, the FBEIs address fundamental science, enabling technologies and system integration and, therefore, are directly connected to cutting edge research projects. A company called Nanobrick, LLC was started to market FBEIs. New FBEIs are being developed jointly by Nanobrick and MSU.