MXene Bioelectronics

MXene Bioelectronics

Low-cost sensors for EEG and other electrophysiological signal recordings

Project status

Pilot underway


Flavia Vitale, PhD

Nicolette Driscoll, PhD

Kathryn Davis, MD

Innovation leads


Center for Health Care Innovation

Penn Health-Tech

National Institutes of Health

External partners

John Medaglia, PhD

Brian Erickson, PhD

Yury Gogotsi, PhD


Scalp electroencephalography (EEG) is used widely for clinical diagnostics and monitoring in patients with neurological disease, for research to understand neural circuitry, and, increasingly, for continuous at-home monitoring. 

Typical EEG electrodes rely on conductive gels to achieve suitable impedance to enable high-fidelity recording. The conductive gels must be individually applied to each electrode by a skilled EEG technician, a process that can take more than an hour. This time-consuming, role-specific process makes it difficult for EEGs to be performed in urgent situations, like when a patient arrives in the emergency department with significant trauma or in low-resource settings where access to skilled EEG technicians is limited. 

Additionally, the gels can leave unwanted residue in the hair, cause skin irritation, and dry out over time – leading to changing impedances and degradation in signal quality.


We are working with a team of experts at Penn Medicine to develop wearable dry electrodes for EEG and other biosignal sensing. MXene bioelectronics will be rapidly manufactured at a low cost using a novel fabrication process developed in the Vitale Lab. Thanks to the remarkable properties of titanium carbide MXene, the nanomaterial at the heart of this technology, these electrodes allow gel-free recording of EEG and other biosignals with signal quality comparable to gelled clinical standard electrodes. In addition, MXene bioelectronics can be produced as dense arrays of mm-scale sensors, which allows for mapping spatial patterns of EEG and other signals with high resolution, potentially improving diagnostic precision.


MXene bioelectronics will enhance the speed and simplicity of data collection, thereby enabling faster diagnosis and treatment for patients and improved access to care for patients at facilities that do not have skilled EEG technicians to perform traditional EEGs. They will also increase opportunities for remote and continuous data collection in additional patient populations and reduce overall costs associated with EEG monitoring. 

Testing for this product is currently underway on healthy volunteers, and early data is promising. MXene bioelectronics was featured on the cover of the September issue of Science Translational Medicine. Check back soon for updates.