Metal and Polymeric Strain Gauges for Si-based, Monolithically Fabricated Organs-on-Chips

William F. Quiros Solano*, Nikolas Gaio, Cinzia Silvestri, Gregory Pandraud, Ronald Dekker, Pasqualina M. Sarro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


Organ-on-chip (OOC) is becoming the alternative tool to conventional in vitro screening. Heart-on-chip devices including microstructures for mechanical and electrical stimulation have been demonstrated to be advantageous to study structural organization and maturation of heart cells. This paper presents the development of metal and polymeric strain gauges for in situ monitoring of mechanical strain in the Cytostretch platform for heart-on-chip application. Specifically, the optimization of the fabrication process of metal titanium (Ti) strain gauges and the investigation on an alternative material to improve the robustness and performance of the devices are presented. The transduction behavior and functionality of the devices are successfully proven using a custom-made set-up. The devices showed resistance changes for the pressure range (0-3 kPa) used to stretch the membranes on which heart cells can be cultured. Relative resistance changes of approximately 0.008% and 1.2% for titanium and polymeric strain gauges are respectively reported for membrane deformations up to 5%. The results demonstrate that both conventional IC metals and polymeric materials can be implemented for sensing mechanical strain using robust microfabricated organ-on-chip devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number536
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Cell
  • Membranes
  • MEMS
  • Organ-on-chip
  • PDMS
  • Silicon
  • Strain
  • Stress


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