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Low cost, mobile, wearable EEG device with high quality nanowire sensors

Mobile, wearable, low cost electro-encephalogram (EEG) devices that offer research grade signals may provide a wealth of information regarding the brain states of individuals. This knowledge can be effectively utilized to develop personalized treatment protocols in medicine and individual customer–based advertisements for marketing.


The inventors aim to establish sensitive, objective biomarkers that can vastly improve the quality of life of patients and customer satisfaction in business. This breakthrough device is being developed and commercialized through a University of Pennsylvania start-up, Cogwear LLC.


In the last few years, the demand for advanced imaging techniques for brain monitoring has surpassed the available options. The global EEG devices market was valued at US $879 million in 2014 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2021 [Global Data].


The EEG is one of the few methods of visualizing brain function and is the mainstay of diagnosis of seizure disorders as well as many other neurologic conditions. Conventional EEG devices used in research and in the clinic provide high-quality signals, that is, good signal-to-noise ratio. However, these devices are not conducive for mobile real world applications because they are wired devices that tether participants to a given location, limiting the activities that they can perform. Furthermore, these devices are not amenable for long-term use because the electrodes typically require electrolytic gel to make contact with the scalp, which dries out over time, thereby reducing signal quality and increasing discomfort due to dried salt deposits.


There are currently no viable options for a research grade EEG device that can be worn for prolonged periods of time and are mobile enough to benefit from participants’ real world interactions.



The present invention is an EEG device that is not only affordable, mobile, and wearable, but also provides research-grade signal quality.


This EEG device uses silver nanowire-based dry electrodes that produce signal quality comparable to traditional wet electrodes. These sensors are biocompatible and are relatively straightforward to fabricate. Such a device would allow for continuous monitoring of an individual’s brain activity, allowing for the identification of specific biomarkers of individual behaviors in various settings.


The applications are innumerable within the clinic and in consumer research, including continuous healthcare monitoring applications, personalized treatment protocols in medicine, individual customer-based advertisements for marketing, and optimal training programs in sports and music.


Furthermore, given the research-grade signal produced by this device, it is feasible that silver nanowire based electrodes could entirely replace the existing wet electrodes in every current clinical application.






Identify functional biomarkers underlying medical conditions, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD (Wearable Diagnostic and Monitoring Devices1, Global Market 2015: $1.4B)


Marketing/ Commercial Usage:

  • Individualized consumer marketing (Neuromarketing Technology2, Global Market 2015: $21.0M)
  • Training of athletes/musicians (Health and Fitness Wearables3, Global Market 2015, $1.7B)
  • Video gaming (Wearable Gaming Hardware4, Global Market 2015, $1.24B)
  • Anti-fatigue wearables (Health Self-Monitoring Peripherals5, Global Market 2014, $3.2B)


Mobile, Comfortable, No wet electrodes, Better and longer recordings.

Stage of Development:

Prototype built and tested.

 Intellectual Property:

WO 2019/173,733


Desired Partnerships:

  • License
  • Co-development
  • Sponsored research

Reference Media:


Volk, S.; Wharton Magazine Spring/Summer 2018: 44

 Docket # 18-8425



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Neal Lemon
Associate Director, PSOM Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
Michael Platt
Arjun Ramakrishnan
Naz Belkaya