Roozbeh Ghaffari, Nanotechnologist & Co founder MC10 is one of the speakers at the 7th Edition of TEDx Gateway, to be held at Mumbai’s NCPA on December 4. The new generation of ‘stretchable wearables’ developed by his company are already being used by consumers, like L’Oréal’s My UV Patch. The BioStamp platform is also being used by eight out of the top 15 pharma companies in their research programmes. In an email interaction with Viveka Roychowdhury, he explains how such devices and platforms are well aligned with India’s public health needs in skin health, heart disease and pre-diabetes
Your company MC10 has won the 2016 IEEE Spectrum Emerging Technology Award as well as the CNS Summit 2016 Innovation Showcase Award for BioStamp, which you called a ‘body-worn computer’. Wearables are changing the nature of health. Tell us the advantages of stretchable wearables, which can be worn like Band Aids or tattoos and some companies which are already your customers.
The BioStamp platform is the first generation of wearables with embedded stretchable electronics and sensors. The advantage of this technology is in the soft form factor and stretchability, which allow tight skin coupling on any location on the body. These devices provide capture of high quality physiological signals across multi-sensors. We have opened up the BioStamp for use by researchers across many disease areas. The implications for this technology are vast. Eight out of the top 15 pharma companies are using the BioStamp platform today to advance their research aims.
In 2008, a nonprofit you co-founded, Diagnostics for All, was the top winner of MIT’s 100K Entrepreneurship Competition for developing a unique process for making simple medical test kits out of paper. These tests are not just inexpensive but also require very little sample size, only a single drop of blood, to provide a colour-coded response indicating the presence of any of several different diseases. Such tests are very relevant to India’s public health scenario, so could you tell us about how widespread is the use of such tests globally?
Limited access to low cost diagnostics and monitoring solutions represents a global challenge affecting a majority of the world’s population. At MC10 and in my previous research, we have focused on developing soft bioelectronics that can be used in virtually any environment, in developing countries and rural settings. These devices are untethered and can transmit data wirelessly to anywhere in the world. Our WiSP platform and the My UV Patch are disposable solutions well aligned with India’s public health needs in the areas of skin health, heart disease and pre-diabetes.
Are you or your company looking for collaborators, on the technical or marketing side, in India? Has the BioStamp been used in India, given our different climatic conditions?
We are not currently selling BioStamp products in India, but do see many opportunities for future collaborations with researchers, academics and clinicians in India. The BioStamp and Wisp are built to function in different climates and in wet conditions. The overarching goal is to reach populations that can benefit most from these soft bioelectronics solutions.