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Anticipatory Medical and Cellular Devices

What if we could prevent infant apnea? Learn more...

Wyss Institute researchers are working to develop controllable and dynamic devices to anticipate and detect malfunctions and infections in the body, and intervene to restore health. Our research and translation efforts in this area take advantage of the dynamic and changing nature of human physiology to develop novel approaches for performance assessment, diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention.

The eventual intent is to develop miniaturized, wearable or implantable devices that deliver physical, magnetic, electrical, optical, or chemical stimuli to the body, thus "rebooting" and restoring a healthy, normal state. Such new classes of devices might take the form of a medical smart phone with integrated sensors, computation, and associated stimulators to maintain balance for the prevention of falls, stop the heart from going into an arrhythmia, prevent infant apnea, or interrupt a seizure.

These devices might even operate at the cellular level, communicating with programmable cells to fight disease or repair malfunctioning tissues in patients with genetic disorders. By merging our ability to engineer complex gene circuits and cellular devices from well-characterized, modular "bio-parts" with traditional electronic and electromechanical approaches, we are creating a world of possibilities: gene circuit/electronic interfaces that will be able to sense, probe, and dynamically track cellular physiology and function -- and intervene to tune gene expression.

Lead Projects and Technologies

NeuroAssess Quantitative and Portable Neuromotor Assessment
A new quantitative measure of neuromuscular performance
Vibrating Insoles Balance-Restoring Insoles
Insoles that may improve balance and walking dynamics
Infant Apnea Prevention Infant Apnea Prevention
An integrated system that may prevent the onset of neonatal apnea
Epipen Early Detection and Prevention of Anaphylaxis
Understanding the physiological and biochemical signals that indicate anaphylaxis and develop a device that continually monitors the signals
Paper Based Synthetic Gene Networks Paper Based Synthetic Gene Networks
Developing living molecular factories for the production of drugs, biofuels and green chemistry











James J. Collins
Paolo Bonato
Eugene Goldfield
Radhika Nagpal
David Paydarfar
Conor Walsh
Robert Wood











We've won a Webby Award!

Wyss Institute is proud to announce our win in the 2012
Webby Awards in the Science category.