John A. Rogers


Photo of John A. Rogers

Emerging Research Opportunities in Bio-Integrated Semiconductor Devices

Biological systems are mechanically soft, with complex, time-dependent 3D curvilinear shapes; modern semiconductor device technologies are rigid, with simple, static 2D layouts. Eliminating these profound differences in properties will create vast opportunities in man-made systems that can intimately integrate into and onto the human body, for diagnostic, therapeutic or surgical function with important, unique capabilities in biomedical research and clinical healthcare. Over the last decade, a convergence of new concepts in materials science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and advanced manufacturing has led to the emergence of diverse, novel classes of 'biocompatible' electronic systems designed to interface to diverse locations across the human body. This talk describes the key ideas and enabling materials, with an emphasis on future research topics that can address key challenges associated with devices that take the form of (1) soft, thin membranes that laminate onto organ surfaces, (2) hair-like needle structures that penetrate into the depths of tissues, (3) bioresorbable, or ‘transient’, devices that disappear into the body on timescales matched to natural processes and (4) open, three dimensional network architectures that interface with biology across large volumes.


Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989.  From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from 2000 to 2002. He then spent thirteen years on the faculty at University of Illinois, most recently as the Swanlund Chair Professor and Director of the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. In the Fall of 2016, he joined Northwestern University as the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, with affiliate appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemistry, where he is also Director of the recently endowed Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics.  He has published more than 750 papers, is a co-inventor on more than 100 patents and he has co-founded several successful technology companies.  His research has been recognized by many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2011), the Smithsonian Award for American Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences (2013) and most recently the Benjamin Franklin Medal (2019). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.