A University of Missouri engineer has received a more than $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program for a wearable, bioelectronic device that could wirelessly transmit a person’s vital signs.

“While the biosensors for these devices have already been developed, we now want to combine them to mass produce a porous patch with multiple bioelectronic components,” said Zheng Yan, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering. “The components can also be customized to fit the individual health needs of the user.”

Yan recently received the grant to begin a plan for mass production of the low-cost device.

The grant builds on some of Yan’s previous work demonstrating a proof of concept of a small patch that works as a breathable and waterproof on-skin electronic device with passive cooling capabilities.

“In the future, if we want to be able to widely implement the use of wearable biomedical devices, due to the size of production it should have a low manufacturing cost,” Yan said. “Therefore, using this grant we want to determine how to achieve continuous, scalable fabrication of such devices in an effort to keep our production costs as low as possible and transfer those cost savings to the consumer.”