Pressure and proximity sensing for wearables

We welcome you to join us for this eWEAR Seminar on Tuesday 8/24 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm PDT

Registration: Please click here to register

Cheli Ruth
3:00 pm to 3:30 pm
“Rational Design of Capacitive Sensors with Microstructured Dielectrics for Medical Devices”

Casey Grenier
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm
“Flexible, Sensorized Glove for Force Sensitive Measurements”

Cheli Ruth

Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering, Stanford University


Cheli Ruth graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2016 and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 2019. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Zhenan Bao. Her current research focuses on improving predictability of pressure sensor performance for more efficient implementation of new pressure sensors for specialized medical applications. Cheli has implemented this new method to design a sensor for post-surgical monitoring of arterial blood pressure for early detection and prevention of arterial diseases.


Pressure and proximity sensors are widely used in the healthcare and robotics industries. Among other applications, they are used for patient monitoring and robotic surgery, playing an integral role in improving health and safety. Currently, there is an increasing demand for highly specialized sensors within these industries, but the path of designing such sensors can be very circular, requiring multiple redesigns. To better address this challenge, the process must be linearized by enabling more targeted sensor design. Focusing on capacitive sensors, presented here is an improved design and fabrication of sensor technology and a simple series of equations confirmed experimentally to improve sensor response. Once the dielectric layer of capacitive pressure sensors was better understood, an analysis of the effects of electrode design was investigated, specifically for fringe-field capacitive sensors capable of both pressure and proximity sensing. Finally, the newly obtained sensor performance trends were applied to targetedly design a sensor for early detection and prevention of diseases after surgical vascular bypass or plaque removal. This sensor was effective in vitro, in vivo, and in a human cadaver without the need to redesign, thus demonstrating the efficacy of using the design guidelines developed for linear, targeted sensor design.


Casey Grenier, Ph.D.

Senior Materials Scientist, Tekscan


Casey Grenier PhD, Material Scientist, R&D division of Tekscan, Inc. Casey received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 under the advisement of Professor W. Rudi Seitz. His research background is in polymer synthesis, analytical methods and measurements, and materials science in making various types of chemical sensors. Casey has been awarded research grants from national and international funding sources (NSF, NIH, JSPS, and SBIR grants), he has published multiple peer-reviewed research papers, and has presented internationally and nationally for his work within chemical sensors. Casey is also a chemistry lecturer at Northeastern University specializing in chemistry and biotechnology courses.


Tekscan, in partnership with SEMI, is currently researching and developing a fully functional grip analysis system. At the center of this system is a functional, flexible, stretchable ink and substrate system that will allow for the creation of a sensorized glove. Research and development of a flexible conductive and pressure-sensitive ink system coupled with a compatible and flexible substrate has allowed for the formation of a flexible, printed force sensing resistor. The new glove sensor features a fully sensorized palm, front side of the fingers, and thumb, providing contact pressure information that can be used to analyze the forces being applied by and to the hands during gripping and touching actions. This new flexible sensor is then integrated into a 3-dimensional glove form which is then connected to hardware that wirelessly transmits the data to a host PC. The system software provides real-time data measurement, visualization, and recording. A sensor of this caliber is innovative to the market and will change how ergonomics and hand positioning is determined in the future.