Integrated cantilever-based flow sensors with tunable sensitivity for in-line monitoring of flow fluctuations in microfluidic systems

Nadine-Nicole Noeth, Stephan Sylvest Keller, Anja Boisen

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    Abstract

    For devices such as bio-/chemical sensors in microfluidic systems, flow fluctuations result in noise in the sensor output. Here, we demonstrate in-line monitoring of flow fluctuations with a cantilever-like sensor integrated in a microfluidic channel. The cantilevers are fabricated in different materials (SU-8 and SiN) and with different thicknesses. The integration of arrays of holes with different hole size and number of holes allows the modification of device sensitivity, theoretical detection limit and measurement range. For an average flow in the microliter range, the cantilever deflection is directly proportional to the flow rate fluctuations in the microfluidic channel. The SiN cantilevers show a detection limit below 1 nL/min and the thinnest SU-8 cantilevers a detection limit below 5 nL/min. Finally, the sensor is applied for in-line monitoring of flow fluctuations generated by external pumps connected to the microfluidic system. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSensors
    Volume14
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)229-244
    ISSN1424-8220
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

    © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland

    Keywords

    • Micromechanical sensor
    • Flow meter
    • Pump characterization

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