Education

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2011
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2008
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Inha University, 2003

Background

Dr. Yeo joined the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in July 2017. Prior to his current appointment, he worked at Virginia Commonwealth University Medicine and Engineering as an assistant professor from 2014-2017. Dr. Yeo received his BS in mechanical engineering from INHA University, South Korea in 2003 and he received his PhD in mechanical engineering and genome sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2011. From 2011-2013, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Beckman Institute and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (advisor: Prof. John A. Rogers). Currently, he is an Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) and Scientific Pages of Bioengineering, and Review Editor of Frontiers of Materials (Frontiers Publishing Group). He serves as a technical committee member for IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference and Korea Technology Advisory Group at Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology.

Research Areas

  • Stretchable/Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Biomedical Materials & Devices
  • Micro & Nano Electronic Systems, Devices, Components, & Packaging
  • Microsystems & Microstructures MEMS/NEMS

Research

Dr. Yeo’s research in the field of biomedical science and bioengineering focuses on the fundamental and applied aspects of biomolecular interactions, soft materials, and nano-microfabrication for the development of nano-biosensors and soft bioelectronics.

Recently, his group opened a new research area in biomedical engineering with a novel technology: “soft, wearable electronics for health monitoring and human-machine interfaces”. His research group took the lead to design and develop this unique system that is based on soft biomimetic materials, stretchable mechanics designs, and hybrid system integration, aiming for advancing human health and wellness. Unlike the conventional bulky and heavy wearable devices, these innovative “skin-like” electronics are based on a completely different class of technologies that offer non-invasive, gentle lamination and comfortable wearability on the skin. Integration of multiple nano-micro sensors and actuators along with miniaturized wireless telemetry on a soft membrane provides continuous, long-term monitoring of human health and persistent human-machine interfaces.

The followings summarize three recent works based on the soft stretchable electronics.

This study designed a skin-friendly electronic system that enabled human-computer interaction (HCI) for swallowing training in dysphagia rehabilitation. For an ergonomic HCI, a soft, highly compliant electrode was developed, which addressed critical issues of an existing rigid and planar electrode combined with a problematic conductive electrolyte and adhesive pad. The skin-like electrode offered a highly conformal, user-comfortable interaction with the skin for long-term wearable, high-fidelity recording of swallowing electromyograms on the chin. Systematic in vivo studies with human subjects investigated the functionality of the soft electronics for HCI-enabled swallowing training, which included the application of a biofeedback system to detect swallowing behavior.

This study focused on the design of ultrathin membrane biosensors and quantitative analysis methodology of electrooculograms to wirelessly control an electronic wheelchair. The bioelectronics enabled more intuitive, easy-to-use rehabilitation systems via dry, conformal contact to the skin. The mechanically comfortable sensor recorded high-fidelity electrooculograms, comparable to the conventional gel electrode. A classification algorithm with an optimized set of features showed the accuracy of 94% with five eye movements. A Bluetooth-enabled system incorporating the soft bioelectronics demonstrated a precise, hands-free control of a robotic wheelchair via electrooculograms.

This soft electronic system that mimicked the mechanical and material properties of human tissue offered intimate, conformal integration with the skin (non-hair-bearing scalp) for unobtrusive, high-quality, persistent monitoring of brain signals for 2 weeks. It was the first demonstration of long-term wearable soft electronics for recording of long brain signals. In addition, this device was successfully used to demonstrate a brain-computer interface: a text speller based on steady-state visually evoked potentials and elicitation of event-related potentials.

 

Distinctions and Awards

  • BMES Innovation and Career Development Award, Biomedical Engineering Society, 2016.
  • Commercialization Award, Center for Innovative Technology, Commonwealth of Virginia, 2016.
  • Notable Korean Scientist, Biological Research Information Center (BRIC), Korea, 2013 – 2015.
  • Speaker, TEDx “Ideas Worth Spreading”, 2014.
  • NSF Summer Institute Fellowship, Summer Institute on Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials, and Micro/Nanomanufacturing, 2013.
  • Best Poster Award, Micro & Nano Technology Society Wide Forum, ASME IMECE, 2010.
  • Student Scholarship, ASME 2010 First Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology, 2010.
  • Best Paper Award, ASME AMD Student Paper Competition, ASME IMECE, 2009.
  • Haythornthwaite GrantAward, ASME Applied Mechanics Division, ASME IMECE, 2009.
  • Statira Biggs Scholarship, University of Washington, Seattle, 2007.
  • 3rd Rank Medal, Commander of the R.O.T.C., Inha University, Korea,2003.
  • Outstanding Student, Inha University, Korea, 1999~ 2001.

Representative Publications

Y. Lee, B. Nicholls, D. Lee, Y. Chen, Y. Chun, C. Ang, and W. H. Yeo*, “Skin-Like Electronics Enabled Human-Computer Interaction for Swallowing Training”, Nature Scientific Reports, 7, 46697, Apr. 2017.

S. Mishra, J. Norton, Y. Lee, D. Lee, N. Agee, Y. Chen, Y. Chun, and W. H. Yeo*, “Soft, Conformal Bioelectronics for a Wireless Human-Wheelchair Interface”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 91, p 796, May 2017.

M. Ostyn, S. Kim, and W. H. Yeo*, “A Simulation Study of a Radiofrequency Localization System for Tracking Patient Motion in Radiotherapy”, Sensors, 16 (4), p 534, Apr. 2016.

Y. Chen, C. Howe, Y. Lee, S. Cheon, W. H. Yeo*, and Y. Chun, “Microstructured Thin Film Nitinol for a Neurovascular Flow-Diverter”, Nature Scientific Reports, 6, 23698, Mar. 2016.

S. Mishra, D. Saadat, O. Kwon, Y. Lee, W. Choi, J. Kim, and W. H. Yeo*, “Recent advances in salivary cancer diagnostics enabled by biosensors and bioelectronics”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 81, p 181, Jul. 2016.

J. Norton, D. Lee, J. Lee, W. Lee, O. Kwon, P. Won, S. Jung, H. Cheng, J. Jeong, A. Akce, S. Umunna, I. Na, Y. Kwon, X. Wang, Z. Liu, U. Paik, Y. Huang, T. Bretl, W. H. Yeo*, J. A. Rogers*, “Soft, curved electrode systems capable of integration on the auricle as a persistent brain-computer interface”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (13), p 3920, Mar. 31,2015.

Y. Hattori, L. Falgout, W. Lee, S. Jung, E. Poon, J. Lee, I. Na, A. Geisler, D. Sadhwani, Y. Zhang, Y. Su, X. Wang, Z. Liu, J. Xia, H. Cheng, R. Webb, A. Bonifas, P. Won, J. Jeong, K. Jang, Y. Song, B. Nardone, M. Nodzenski, J. Fan, Y. Huang, A. Paller, M. Alam, W. H. Yeo*, J. A. Rogers*, "Multifunctional Skin-like Electronics for Quantitative, Clinical Monitoring of Cutaneous Wound Healing", Advanced Healthcare Materials, 3 (10), p 1597, Oct. 2014.

J. Fan†, W. H. Yeo†, Y. Su, Y. Hattori, W. Lee, S. Jung, H. Cheng, Y. Zhang, Z. Liu, L. Falgout, M. Bajema, T. Coleman, D. Gregoire, R. Larson, Y. Huang, J. A. Rogers, "Fractal Design Concepts for Stretchable Electronics", Nature Communications, 5, 3266, Feb. 7, 2014.

J. Jeong†,W. H. Yeo†, A. Akhtar, J. Norton, Y. Kwack, S. Li, S. Jung, Y. Su, W. Lee, J. Xia, H. Cheng, Y. Huang, W. Choi, T. Bretl, J. A. Rogers, “Materials and Optimized Designs for Human-Machine Interface via Epidermal Electronics”, Advanced Materials, 25 (47), p 6837, Dec. 17, 2013.

R. Webb, A. Bonifas, A. Behnaz, Y. Zhang, K. Yu, H. Cheng, M. Shi, Z. Bian, Z. Liu, Y. Kim, W. H. Yeo, J. Song, Y. Li, Y. Huang, A. Gorbach, and J. A. Rogers, “Ultrathin, Conformal Devices for Precise and Continuous Thermal Characterization of Human Skin”, Nature Materials, 12, p 938, Sep. 15, 2013.

W. H. Yeo, Y. Kim, J. Lee, A. Ameen, L. Shi, M. Li, S. Wang, R. Ma, S. Jin, Z. Kang, Y. Huang, J. A. Rogers, “Multifunctional Epidermal Electronics Printed Directly Onto the Skin”, Advanced Materials, 25 (20), p 2773, May 28, 2013.

W. H. Yeo, H. Lee, J. Kim, K. Lee, J. H. Chung, “Nanotip Analysis for Dielectrophoretic Concentration of Nanosized Viral Particles”, Nanotechnology, 24 (18), p 185502, May 10, 2013.

 

Issued Patents

  • J. Rogers, J. Fan, W. H. Yeo, Y. Su, Y. Huang, and Y. Zhang, “Self-Similar and Fractal Design for Stretchable Electronics”, US Patent (09613911), issued on Apr. 3, 2017.
  • J. Chung, W. H. Yeo, et al., “Particle Concentration System”, US Patent (09518956), issued on Dec. 13, 2016.
  • J. Chung, W. H. Yeo, et al., “Method and System for Concentrating Particles from a Solution”, US Patent (09097664), issued on Aug. 4, 2015.
  • W. H. Yeo, J. Chung et al., “Hybrid Fibers, Devices Using Hybrid Fibers, and Methods for Making Hybrid Fibers”, US Patent (08940092), issued on Jan. 27, 2015.