Professor Gregory Gerling was awarded two NIH grants, both with collaborator Professor Ellen Lumpkin of the University of California, Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology.
R21: Developing A Quantitative, Multiscale Imaging Approach to Identify Peripheral Mechanisms of Noxious and Innocuous Force Encoding in Mouse Models. The goal of this two-year project is to develop multiscale, in vivo imaging approaches to simultaneously quantify 3D skin mechanics and activity of sensory neuron populations, which will allow discovery of neural and non-neural mechanisms through which force-based manipulations govern the senses of touch and pain.
U24: NeuronS_MATTR Network: Neuronal & Systems Mechanisms of Affective Touch & Therapeutic Tissue Manipulation Research Network. The goal of this five-year project is to establish an inclusive research network to identify mechanisms through which soft tissue manipulations exert biological effects on the nervous system, as well as on non-neural cells and tissues. The (NeuronS_MATTR) Network will nucleate an emerging field focused on the neurobiology of soft tissue mechanotherapies. Through combinations of multidisciplinary conferences, summer schools, pilot projects and dissemination programs, NeuronS_MATTR will address high-priority areas to elucidate the neural mechanisms of forced-based manipulations.
Here's a recent message about the U24 award from the NCCIH director! (LINK)
Nice story and Q&A with Chang Xu! (LINK)
We don’t understand how our fingers feel material softness — for example, how do we know a peach is ripe? Touch permeates our lives, yet we don’t design technology to use our natural ability to differentiate objects. Chang Xu, a systems engineering Ph.D. student working in associate professor Greg Gerling’s Touch Lab, is studying the mechanisms underlying our sense of touch in the natural world to improve technologies ranging from consumer electronics to prosthetic hands and robotic-assisted surgery.
Anika Kao, Chang, Xu, and Greg Gerling's paper “Using Digital Image Correlation to Quantify Skin Deformation with Von Frey Monofilaments” has been nominated for a Best Paper Award in the IEEE Transactions on Haptics Short Paper category at the upcoming 2022 IEEE Haptics Symposium. In addition, Shan Xu's paper was also accepted to this same journal paper category, and is entitled "Subtle Contact Nuances in the Delivery of Human-to-Human Touch Distinguish Emotional Sentiment." These papers involve unique imaging technologies of skin deformation and human-to-human contact.
Bingxu Li and Greg Gerling's paper “Individual Differences Impacting Skin Deformation and Tactile Discrimination with Compliant Elastic Surfaces” has been nominated for the Best Paper Award at the upcoming 2021 IEEE World Haptics Conference. This honor was accorded to the top ~15% of accepted papers based on reviews.
Both Bingxu and Merat also recently had papers accepted to the 2021 IEEE World Haptics Symposium. Looking forward to their presentation!
Li, B. and Gerling, G.J. “Individual differences impacting skin deformation and tactile discrimination with compliant elastic surfaces.” In: 2021 IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Montreal, Canada, 2021, in press.
Rezaei, M., Nagi, S.S., Xu, C., McIntyre, S., Olausson, H., and Gerling, G.J. “Thin Films on theSkin, but not Frictional Agents, Attenuate the Percept of Pleasantness toBrushed Stimuli.” In: 2021 IEEE WorldHaptics Conference (WHC), Montreal, Canada, 2021, in press.