Alberto Salleo is currently Full Professor of Materials Science and Department Chair at Stanford University. Alberto Salleo holds a Laurea degree in Chemistry from La Sapienza and graduated as a Fulbright Fellow with a PhD in Materials Science from UC Berkeley in 2001. From 2001 to 2005 Salleo was first post-doctoral research fellow and successively member of research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. In 2005 Salleo joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Stanford as an Assistant Professor in 2006. Salleo is a Principal Editor of MRS Communications since 2011.While at Stanford, Salleo won the NSF Career Award, the 3M Untenured Faculty Award, the SPIE Early Career Award, the Tau Beta Pi Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, Stanford’s highest teaching award. He has been a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher since 2015, recognizing that he ranks in the top 1% cited researchers in his field.
The continuous monitoring of human health can greatly benefit from devices that can be worn comfortably or seamlessly integrated in household objects, constituting “health-centered” domotics. One of the key aspects for these devices to be successful is to be invisibly integrated and disappear in the background of our lives. Our group works on thin film devices made with plastic materials that can be used for electrochemically sensing of common analytes from easily accessible bodily fluids (e.g. sweat, saliva, urine) and can be easily multiplexed. I will describe electrochemical transistors that detect ionic species either directly present in body fluids or resulting from a selective enzymatic reaction (e.g. ammonia from creatinine) at physiological levels. I will also show that non-charged molecules can be detected by making use of custom-processed polymer membranes that act as “synthetic enzymes”. Using these membranes in conjunction with electrochemical transistors we demonstrate that we are able to measure physiological levels of cortisol in real human sweat. Importantly, transistors can amplify signals and I will show what architectures must be used to observe 1000x amplification of sensing currents.
Finally we have developed a process that allows us to fabricate sensor arrays on flexible substrates thereby opening the door towards ultra-thin, flexible sensor arrays for wearable technologies.