Guest Speaker Series - Gymama Slaughter, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 10:00am
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Gymama Slaughter

Bioelectronics Laboratory, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD


Title:  Development of a self-powered biosensing system



Recent studies on biofuel cells have shown that energy can be harvested from biological compounds. Because of the recent biofuel cell discoveries, it is possible to use biochemical power scavenging design by converting interstitial glucose into energy through the coupling of enzymes and three-dimensional carbon nanotubes (CNTs). This talk will discuss our own contribution to identifying a pathway to embed sensing by eliminating the need for a potentiostat circuit and an external power source required in conventional amperometric glucose sensors. The self-powered biosensing system consist of massively dense network of 3-D CNTs cell structures fused with an energy amplification circuit that maximizes power and energy densities while maintaining short ion transport distances, thus leading to dramatic improvement in both speed and energy efficiency of biofuel cells. By combining the advantages of porous CNTs and energy amplification circuits, the sensor system exhibited unprecedented performance with high sensitivity, selectivity, and fast response time. Not only is such a paradigm extremely fast because of absence of a potentiostat circuit, but it is also extremely energy-efficient since the device operates at low voltage and current levels. As a result, the biosensing system generates a drive signal in real-time and continuously powers an electrical device by generating and accumulating electrical power as a result of the catalysis of glucose while sensing glucose. We further envision that the self-powered glucose biosensing system could be greatly reduced in footprint by using microsystem techniques and other inexpensive deposition methods to deposit dense mesh network of carbon nanotubes and/ metal wire traces. We believe that this type of high-performance, self-powered glucose biosensing system, combined with low-cost construction shows great potential for use in biotechnology applications relating to medical diagnosis and diabetes management.


Gymama Slaughter is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering. She received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2001, M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005. She then joined Virginia State University as an Assistant Professor in Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Biosystems and Engineering University. Finally, she joined the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) as Assistant Professor in Computer Engineering in August 2010. She is currently the Director of the Bioelectronics Laboratory Group and oversees research and research outreach programs in the BEL Group. More recently, she was selected to participated in the Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Leave Program at the Naval Research Laboratory’s Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering (CBMSE) where she is currently serving as CBMSE Visiting Scholar and conducting research on the development of flexible biodegradable biological and chemical sensors. Slaughter develops and applies sensor-processor platforms, focusing on innovative contributions to identifying a pathway to embed sensing and processing functions in the same device to eliminate bottlenecks arising from communication between the sensor, transducer and processor, thus, resulting in ultra-fast and ultra-low power devices. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Department of Army, TEDCO Maryland Innovative Initiative, and the Maryland Industry Partnership. Her research interests include biosensors, microsensors, microfabrication technology, and BioMEMS. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER AWARD. The award recognizes junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.