Nathan Zavanelli

BioE Ph.D. Defense Presentation 

Time and Date: 10:00 am on Thursday, November 16, 2023

Location: Scheller College of Business 201

Zoom link:  Click here to join the meeting



Advisor: Woonhong Yeo, Ph.D. (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering) 


Committee Members: 

Todd Sulchek, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) 

Rudolph Gleason , Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) 

Omer Inan, Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering) 

Pamela Bhatti, Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering) 


A Skin-like Sternal Patch to Monitor Autonomic Tone During Cognitive Stress and Sympathetic Arousals in Disordered Sleep


The central focus of this thesis is the development of skin-like wearable electronics and sensors that seamlessly integrate with the human body and provide hospital quality physiological monitoring and diagnostics in a simple, minimally obtrusive platform. One of the most poignant tragedies in modern medicine is that many pathologies with highly effective treatments remain undiagnosed, especially in marginalized communities. This suffering is fueled by a systemic failure in current diagnostics techniques: one the one hand, hospital grade in lab tests are expensive, low throughput, and ill-suited for continuous monitoring; on the other, wearable electronics are fundamentally limited by rigid mechanics and wired interfaces that prevent conformal skin contact, producing poor signal quality and degraded long-term wearability. To address this critical shortcoming, this work consists of analytical, computational, empirical, and human subjects studies in soft materials and interfaces to enable a new class of wearable, wireless devices and sensors with mechanics finely tuned to transduce electrical, mechanical, and optical bio-signals from the human body, providing advanced diagnostic solutions to tackle some of the most pressing medical diagnostics challenges, both here in the United States and around the world.