Sensing flow rates in structured microenvironments like lab-on-chip (LOC) and organ-on-chip (OoC) is crucial to assess important parameters such as transport of media and molecules of interest. So far, these micro-electromechanical systems for biology (bio-MEMS) mostly rely on flow sensing systems based on thermal sensors. However, thermal flow sensing has limitations, since the measurement principle, which is based on generation of heat, can negatively affect the biological system by increasing the fluid temperature above physiological conditions. To overcome this issue, we propose a novel electro-mechanical flow sensor centered around the deformation of a cantilever made of a thin and biocompatible ionic electroactive polymer. The polymer, called ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC), is doped with ions naturally present in most cell media for LOC and OoC devices. Unlike already existing cantilever-based systems which rely on piezo sensitive materials, our IPMC-based flow sensor shows durability in wet environment. We were able to successfully measure pulsatile flow induced by pipetting with flowrate gradually increasing from 10μL/s to 40μL/s. The proposed flow sensor shows good sensing capabilities (4.78 mV/(μL/s)) with a linear behavior in the studied range. This work sets a milestone for using flexible, electroactive materials for sensing applications in delicate biological microenvironments.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE Sensors|
|Place of Publication||Piscataway|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|Event||2022 IEEE Sensors - Dallas, United States|
Duration: 30 Oct 2022 → 2 Nov 2022
|Name||Proceedings of IEEE Sensors|
|Conference||2022 IEEE Sensors|
|Period||30/10/22 → 2/11/22|
Bibliographical noteGreen Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.
- Flow sensor
- Ionic polymer metal composites