Monolithic integration of a smart temperature sensor on a modular silicon-based organ-on-a-chip device

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One of the many applications of organ-on-a-chip (OOC) technology is the study of biological processes in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) during pharmacological drug screening. It is of paramount importance to construct OOCs equipped with highly compact in situ sensors that can accurately monitor, in real time, the extracellular fluid environment and anticipate any vital physiological changes of the culture. In this paper, we report the co-fabrication of a CMOS smart sensor on the same substrate as our silicon-based OOC for real-time in situ temperature measurement of the cell culture. The proposed CMOS circuit is developed to provide the first monolithically integrated in situ smart temperature-sensing system on a micromachined silicon-based OOC device. Measurement results on wafer reveal a resolution of less than ±0.2 °C and a nonlinearity error of less than 0.05% across a temperature range from 30 to 40 °C. The sensor's time response is more than 10 times faster than the time constant of the convection-cooling mechanism found for a medium containing 0.4 ml of PBS solution. All in all, this work is the first step towards realizing OOCs with seamless integrated CMOS-based sensors capable to measure, in real time, multiple physical quantities found in cell culture experiments. It is expected that the use of commercial foundry CMOS processes may enable OOCs with very large scale of multi-sensing integration and actuation in a closed-loop system manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112439
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical: an international journal devoted to research and development of physical and chemical transducers
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • CMOS monolithic integration
  • MEMS
  • MEMS-electronics co-fabrication
  • Organs-on-a-chip
  • Smart temperature sensor
  • Time-mode domain signal processing


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