Gregory Jones

About Me:

I am a Physics and Robotics teacher at South High Community School in Worcester, MA. I often say that teaching is more than a job, its a lifestyle. And as much as I may complain about 5am wakeups, cafeteria duty, or grading, I do love it. I have a passion for physics that began when I took physics in High School, and if I can inspire even just one young adult to ask questions about how the universe works, I consider that a success.

Outside of the classroom, you’ll find me hiking, camping, or cooking, likely with my buddy Domino the dalmatian mix by my side!

About the Lab:

I am working in the Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab in Atwater Kent, Room 315. My mentor is Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Ulkuhan Guler.

The Integrated Circuits and Systems Lab’s Research Focus includes: Smart Health Applications, Implantables and Wearables, Sensor Interfaces, Neural Interfaces, RF-Energy Harvesting, Wireless Power and Data Transfer, Power Management IC, Biomedical Security, and Low Power Analog/Mixed Signal IC Design.


Along with Genesis Bernabel, I am working on a device that this lab has been developing for some time. This wearable medical device is printed on a flexible PCB (printed circuit board) and is stuck on to a patients arm to sense their transcutaneous oxygen pressure. Transcutaneous oxygen pressure is related to the amount of oxygen in the blood, which is a vital piece of information for health care providers.

Currently, blood-oxygen levels are usually tested using pulse-oximetry, which is an unreliable and imprecise measurement technique, especially at extremes (like in cases of hypoxia – not enough oxygen in the blood or hyperoxia – too much oxygen in the blood). More robust alternatives to pulse oximetry currently are painful, invasive, costly, and in some circumstances can be dangerous for patients (especially newborns in the NICU).

The device we are developing, which can be simply placed on the skin without the supervision of a medical provider, uses a new, noninvasive optical sensing technique to collect transcutaneous pressure of oxygen diffusing through the dermis.

Our contribution to the device is to investigate wireless power sources (batteries) and the power management unit to ensure that the system is safe, effective, and comfortable for users, all while collecting reliable and accurate measurements

Weekly Updates:

  • Week 1:

This week, I spent many hours sifting through technical journal and conference papers to gain some precious background information about our project. We are beginning to develop a sense of what exactly we have to offer to the project, while gaining valuable experience reading research papers. These papers are dense and difficult to read, especially for non-experts in the discipline. This is an experience and a skill that I want to pass along to students in the classroom.

Genesis and I spent a long time sifting through the internet to find the perfect battery for our device. The perfect battery is one that is small enough, light enough, and durable enough to be worn on a person’s arm all day. There are two main battery types that we are evaluating: Lithium Polymer (LiPo) and LiMnO2. The main difference between these two is rechargeability. LiPo batteries are a good choice because they are rechargeable, meaning that the end user would just need to plug into any available power source. LiMnO2 batteries, on the other hand, have about 2.5x battery density, meaning that for the same amount of physical space, we could achieve roughly 2.5x the capacity as a LiPo battery.

  • Week 2:

Week 2 was full of new experiences. We had our first lab meeting, where we presented our project to the grad students in the lab and Professor Guler. We began authoring our first weekly report using LaTeX, and became even more familiar with the project by reading even more journal articles. We had two very productive meetings with Vladimir, the grad student who is leading this project. Vladimir showed us the actual PCB (Printed Circuit Board), how to connect it to the computer to read the data, and we got to see what the data from the device looks like in graphical form.

Finally, we met with Professor Guler to present our choices of battery for the device, as well as a few alternative batteries that we will use for testing purposes. We were able to place an order for the alternative (testing) batteries, and they should arrive within the next few days. We began familiarizing ourselves with the measurement instruments in the lab, and built our first (very simple) battery-powered circuit to test with!

  • Week 3:

Week 3 was spent figuring things out! Our goal was to assemble a testing setup using a digital multimeter to collect automated voltage measurements over time for a battery discharging. In order to test our setup, we designed a simple circuit using just a resistor and a battery. We were able to attach a digital multimeter to our test circuit, and we captured voltage measurements every thirty seconds. We spent a lot of time troubleshooting this setup and making sure that everything worked properly. This included learning a bit about coding in python and using the digital multimeter with a computer!

  • Week 4:

This week, we have really ramped up our progress! We have taken a few measurements on our batteries so far, and we are setting up more to run over the weekend! We did need to do even more troubleshooting, but now that our measurement techniques are working, we are able to set up a measurement and let it run. We are now focused on preparing documentation and our poster for future researchers on the project.

  • Week 5:

This week, we wrapped up our project! We have been focused on documenting our processes and collecting some additional data. We presented our findings to the lab and made a final recommendation for a battery. Furthermore, we are finishing the process of ordering the batteries from the Chinese manufacturer!

Poster and Lesson Plan:

Link to my RET Lesson Plan

Link to my RET Poster