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Sensors, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2011) – 60 articles , Pages 10010-11035

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Open AccessArticle
System-Level Biochip for Impedance Sensing and Programmable Manipulation of Bladder Cancer Cells
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 11021-11035; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111111021 - 23 Nov 2011
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4573
Abstract
This paper develops a dielectrophoretic (DEP) chip with multi-layer electrodes and a micro-cavity array for programmable manipulations of cells and impedance measurement. The DEP chip consists of an ITO top electrode, flow chamber, middle electrode on an SU-8 surface, micro-cavity arrays of SU-8 [...] Read more.
This paper develops a dielectrophoretic (DEP) chip with multi-layer electrodes and a micro-cavity array for programmable manipulations of cells and impedance measurement. The DEP chip consists of an ITO top electrode, flow chamber, middle electrode on an SU-8 surface, micro-cavity arrays of SU-8 and distributed electrodes at the bottom of the micro-cavity. Impedance sensing of single cells could be performed as follows: firstly, cells were trapped in a micro-cavity array by negative DEP force provided by top and middle electrodes; then, the impedance measurement for discrimination of different stage of bladder cancer cells was accomplished by the middle and bottom electrodes. After impedance sensing, the individual releasing of trapped cells was achieved by negative DEP force using the top and bottom electrodes in order to collect the identified cells once more. Both cell manipulations and impedance measurement had been integrated within a system controlled by a PC-based LabVIEW program. In the experiments, two different stages of bladder cancer cell lines (grade III: T24 and grade II: TSGH8301) were utilized for the demonstration of programmable manipulation and impedance sensing; as the results show, the lower-grade bladder cancer cells (TSGH8301) possess higher impedance than the higher-grade ones (T24). In general, the multi-step manipulations of cells can be easily programmed by controlling the electrical signal in our design, which provides an excellent platform technology for lab-on-a-chip (LOC) or a micro-total-analysis-system (Micro TAS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochips)
Open AccessArticle
Selective Change Driven Imaging: A Biomimetic Visual Sensing Strategy
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 11000-11020; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111111000 - 23 Nov 2011
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3919
Abstract
Selective Change Driven (SCD) Vision is a biologically inspired strategy for acquiring, transmitting and processing images that significantly speeds up image sensing. SCD vision is based on a new CMOS image sensor which delivers, ordered by the absolute magnitude of its change, the [...] Read more.
Selective Change Driven (SCD) Vision is a biologically inspired strategy for acquiring, transmitting and processing images that significantly speeds up image sensing. SCD vision is based on a new CMOS image sensor which delivers, ordered by the absolute magnitude of its change, the pixels that have changed after the last time they were read out. Moreover, the traditional full frame processing hardware and programming methodology has to be changed, as a part of this biomimetic approach, to a new processing paradigm based on pixel processing in a data flow manner, instead of full frame image processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Sensors, Actuators and Integrated Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Infrared Spectrometer for Earth Science Remote Sensing Applications—Instrument Modifications and Measurement Procedures
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10981-10999; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110981 - 23 Nov 2011
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 5385
Abstract
In this article we describe a new instrumental setup at the University of Twente Faculty ITC with an optimized processing chain to measure absolute directional-hemispherical reflectance values of typical earth science samples in the 2.5 to 16 µm range. A Bruker Vertex 70 [...] Read more.
In this article we describe a new instrumental setup at the University of Twente Faculty ITC with an optimized processing chain to measure absolute directional-hemispherical reflectance values of typical earth science samples in the 2.5 to 16 µm range. A Bruker Vertex 70 FTIR spectrometer was chosen as the base instrument. It was modified with an external integrating sphere with a 30 mm sampling port to allow measuring large, inhomogeneous samples and quantitatively compare the laboratory results to airborne and spaceborne remote sensing data. During the processing to directional-hemispherical reflectance values, a background radiation subtraction is performed, removing the effect of radiance not reflected from the sample itself on the detector. This provides more accurate reflectance values for low-reflecting samples. Repeat measurements taken over a 20 month period on a quartz sand standard show that the repeatability of the system is very high, with a standard deviation ranging between 0.001 and 0.006 reflectance units depending on wavelength. This high level of repeatability is achieved even after replacing optical components, re-aligning mirrors and placement of sample port reducers. Absolute reflectance values of measurements taken by the instrument here presented compare very favorably to measurements of other leading laboratories taken on identical sample standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Autonomous Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Based on Information Filters and Active Sensing
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10958-10980; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110958 - 22 Nov 2011
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 5659
Abstract
This paper addresses an autonomous navigation method for the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) C-Ranger applying information-filter-based simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and its sea trial experiments in Tuandao Bay (Shangdong Province, P.R. China). Weak links in the information matrix in an extended information [...] Read more.
This paper addresses an autonomous navigation method for the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) C-Ranger applying information-filter-based simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and its sea trial experiments in Tuandao Bay (Shangdong Province, P.R. China). Weak links in the information matrix in an extended information filter (EIF) can be pruned to achieve an efficient approach-sparse EIF algorithm (SEIF-SLAM). All the basic update formulae can be implemented in constant time irrespective of the size of the map; hence the computational complexity is significantly reduced. The mechanical scanning imaging sonar is chosen as the active sensing device for the underwater vehicle, and a compensation method based on feedback of the AUV pose is presented to overcome distortion of the acoustic images due to the vehicle motion. In order to verify the feasibility of the navigation methods proposed for the C-Ranger, a sea trial was conducted in Tuandao Bay. Experimental results and analysis show that the proposed navigation approach based on SEIF-SLAM improves the accuracy of the navigation compared with conventional method; moreover the algorithm has a low computational cost when compared with EKF-SLAM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Alternative Post-Processing on a CMOS Chip to Fabricate a Planar Microelectrode Array
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10940-10957; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110940 - 22 Nov 2011
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5037
Abstract
We present an alternative post-processing on a CMOS chip to release a planar microelectrode array (pMEA) integrated with its signal readout circuit, which can be used for monitoring the neuronal activity of vestibular ganglion neurons in newborn Wistar strain rats. This chip is [...] Read more.
We present an alternative post-processing on a CMOS chip to release a planar microelectrode array (pMEA) integrated with its signal readout circuit, which can be used for monitoring the neuronal activity of vestibular ganglion neurons in newborn Wistar strain rats. This chip is fabricated through a 0.6 µm CMOS standard process and it has 12 pMEA through a 4 ´ 3 electrodes matrix. The alternative CMOS post-process includes the development of masks to protect the readout circuit and the power supply pads. A wet etching process eliminates the aluminum located on the surface of the p+-type silicon. This silicon is used as transducer for recording the neuronal activity and as interface between the readout circuit and neurons. The readout circuit is composed of an amplifier and tunable bandpass filter, which is placed on a 0.015 mm2 silicon area. The tunable bandpass filter has a bandwidth of 98 kHz and a common mode rejection ratio (CMRR) of 87 dB. These characteristics of the readout circuit are appropriate for neuronal recording applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochips)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Control of Adsorption Sensitivity for Photo-EMF-Based Ammonia Gas Sensors Using a Wireless Network
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10930-10939; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110930 - 22 Nov 2011
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3717
Abstract
This paper proposes an adsorption sensitivity control method that uses a wireless network and illumination light intensity in a photo-electromagnetic field (EMF)-based gas sensor for measurements in real time of a wide range of ammonia concentrations. The minimum measurement error for a range [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an adsorption sensitivity control method that uses a wireless network and illumination light intensity in a photo-electromagnetic field (EMF)-based gas sensor for measurements in real time of a wide range of ammonia concentrations. The minimum measurement error for a range of ammonia concentration from 3 to 800 ppm occurs when the gas concentration magnitude corresponds with the optimal intensity of the illumination light. A simulation with LabView-engineered modules for automatic control of a new intelligent computer system was conducted to improve measurement precision over a wide range of gas concentrations. This gas sensor computer system with wireless network technology could be useful in the chemical industry for automatic detection and measurement of hazardous ammonia gas levels in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessReview
Plasmonic Nanostructures for Nano-Scale Bio-Sensing
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10907-10929; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110907 - 21 Nov 2011
Cited by 202 | Viewed by 9725
Abstract
The optical properties of various nanostructures have been widely adopted for biological detection, from DNA sequencing to nano-scale single molecule biological function measurements. In particular, by employing localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), we can expect distinguished sensing performance with high sensitivity and resolution. [...] Read more.
The optical properties of various nanostructures have been widely adopted for biological detection, from DNA sequencing to nano-scale single molecule biological function measurements. In particular, by employing localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), we can expect distinguished sensing performance with high sensitivity and resolution. This indicates that nano-scale detections can be realized by using the shift of resonance wavelength of LSPR in response to the refractive index change. In this paper, we overview various plasmonic nanostructures as potential sensing components. The qualitative descriptions of plasmonic nanostructures are supported by the physical phenomena such as plasmonic hybridization and Fano resonance. We present guidelines for designing specific nanostructures with regard to wavelength range and target sensing materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Biosensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a New Surface Acoustic Wave Based Gyroscope on a X-112°Y LiTaO3 Substrate
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10894-10906; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110894 - 21 Nov 2011
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3994
Abstract
A new micro gyroscope based on the surface acoustic wave (SAW) gyroscopic effect was developed. The SAW gyroscopic effect is investigated by applying the surface effective permittivity method in the regime of small ratios of the rotation velocity and the frequency of the [...] Read more.
A new micro gyroscope based on the surface acoustic wave (SAW) gyroscopic effect was developed. The SAW gyroscopic effect is investigated by applying the surface effective permittivity method in the regime of small ratios of the rotation velocity and the frequency of the SAW. The theoretical analysis indicates that the larger velocity shift was observed from the rotated X-112°Y LiTaO3 substrate. Then, two SAW delay lines with reverse direction and an operation frequency of 160 MHz are fabricated on a same X-112°Y LiTaO3 chip as the feedback of two SAW oscillators, which act as the sensor element. The single-phase unidirectional transducer (SPUDT) and combed transducers were used to structure the delay lines to improve the frequency stability of the oscillator. The rotation of a piezoelectric medium gives rise to a shift of the propagation velocity of SAW due to the Coriolis force, resulting in the frequency shift of the SAW device, and hence, the evaluation of the sensor performance. Meanwhile, the differential structure was performed to double the sensitivity and compensate for the temperature effects. Using a precise rate table, the performance of the fabricated SAW gyroscope was evaluated experimentally. A sensitivity of 1.332 Hz deg−1 s at angular rates of up to 1,000 deg s−1 and good linearity are observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Distributed Bees Algorithm Parameters Optimization for a Cost Efficient Target Allocation in Swarms of Robots
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10880-10893; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110880 - 21 Nov 2011
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4570
Abstract
Swarms of robots can use their sensing abilities to explore unknown environments and deploy on sites of interest. In this task, a large number of robots is more effective than a single unit because of their ability to quickly cover the area. However, [...] Read more.
Swarms of robots can use their sensing abilities to explore unknown environments and deploy on sites of interest. In this task, a large number of robots is more effective than a single unit because of their ability to quickly cover the area. However, the coordination of large teams of robots is not an easy problem, especially when the resources for the deployment are limited. In this paper, the Distributed Bees Algorithm (DBA), previously proposed by the authors, is optimized and applied to distributed target allocation in swarms of robots. Improved target allocation in terms of deployment cost efficiency is achieved through optimization of the DBA’s control parameters by means of a Genetic Algorithm. Experimental results show that with the optimized set of parameters, the deployment cost measured as the average distance traveled by the robots is reduced. The cost-efficient deployment is in some cases achieved at the expense of increased robots’ distribution error. Nevertheless, the proposed approach allows the swarm to adapt to the operating conditions when available resources are scarce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Calibrating Single-Ended Fiber-Optic Raman Spectra Distributed Temperature Sensing Data
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10859-10879; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110859 - 21 Nov 2011
Cited by 138 | Viewed by 8134
Abstract
Hydrologic research is a very demanding application of fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) in terms of precision, accuracy and calibration. The physics behind the most frequently used DTS instruments are considered as they apply to four calibration methods for single-ended DTS installations. The [...] Read more.
Hydrologic research is a very demanding application of fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) in terms of precision, accuracy and calibration. The physics behind the most frequently used DTS instruments are considered as they apply to four calibration methods for single-ended DTS installations. The new methods presented are more accurate than the instrument-calibrated data, achieving accuracies on the order of tenths of a degree root mean square error (RMSE) and mean bias. Effects of localized non-uniformities that violate the assumptions of single-ended calibration data are explored and quantified. Experimental design considerations such as selection of integration times or selection of the length of the reference sections are discussed, and the impacts of these considerations on calibrated temperatures are explored in two case studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors 2012)
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Detection of Polychlorinated Biphenyls at Trace Levels in Real Environmental Samples by Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10851-10858; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110851 - 18 Nov 2011
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4395
Abstract
Detection of trace levels of persistent pollutants in the environment is difficult but significant. Organic pollutant homologues, due to their similar physical and chemical properties, are even more difficult to distinguish, especially in trace amounts. We report here a simple method to detect [...] Read more.
Detection of trace levels of persistent pollutants in the environment is difficult but significant. Organic pollutant homologues, due to their similar physical and chemical properties, are even more difficult to distinguish, especially in trace amounts. We report here a simple method to detect polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soil and distilled spirit samples by the surface-enhanced Raman scattering technique using Ag nanorod arrays as substrates. By this method, polychlorinated biphenyls can be detected to a concentration of 5 μg/g in dry soil samples within 1 minute. Furthermore, based on simulation and understanding of the Raman characteristics of PCBs, we recognized homologues of tetrachlorobiphenyl by using the surface-enhance Raman scattering method even in trace amounts in acetone solutions, and their characteristic Raman peaks still can be distinguished at a concentration of 10-6 mol/L. This study provides a fast, simple and sensitive method for the detection and recognition of organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Organic Pollution in Soil, Air, Water and Food)
Open AccessCommunication
Electrochemical Characterization of Riboflavin-Enhanced Reduction of Trinitrotoluene
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10840-10850; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110840 - 18 Nov 2011
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3855
Abstract
There is great interest in understanding trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) contamination, detection and remediation in the environment due to TNT’s negative health effects and security implications. Numerous publications have focused on detecting TNT in groundwater using multiple techniques, including electrochemistry. The main [...] Read more.
There is great interest in understanding trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) contamination, detection and remediation in the environment due to TNT’s negative health effects and security implications. Numerous publications have focused on detecting TNT in groundwater using multiple techniques, including electrochemistry. The main degradation pathway of nitrotoluenes in the environment is reduction, frequently with biological and/or photolytic assistance. Riboflavin has also been noted to aid in TNT remediation in soils and groundwater when exposed to light. This report indicates that adding riboflavin to a TNT or DNT solution enhances redox currents in electrochemical experiments. Here AC voltammetry was performed and peak currents compared with and without riboflavin present. Results indicated that TNT, DNT and riboflavin could be detected using AC voltammetry on modified gold electrodes and the addition of riboflavin affected redox peaks of TNT and DNT. Poised potential experiments indicated that it is possible to enhance reduction of TNT in the presence of riboflavin and light. These results were dramatic enough to explain long term enhancement of bioremediation in environments containing high levels of riboflavin and enhance the limit of detection in electrochemically-based nitrotoluene sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Fuzzy Mobile-Robot Positioning in Intelligent Spaces Using Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10820-10839; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110820 - 17 Nov 2011
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3944
Abstract
This work presents the development and experimental evaluation of a method based on fuzzy logic to locate mobile robots in an Intelligent Space using Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The problem consists of locating a mobile node using only inter-node range measurements, which are [...] Read more.
This work presents the development and experimental evaluation of a method based on fuzzy logic to locate mobile robots in an Intelligent Space using Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The problem consists of locating a mobile node using only inter-node range measurements, which are estimated by radio frequency signal strength attenuation. The sensor model of these measurements is very noisy and unreliable. The proposed method makes use of fuzzy logic for modeling and dealing with such uncertain information. Besides, the proposed approach is compared with a probabilistic technique showing that the fuzzy approach is able to handle highly uncertain situations that are difficult to manage by well-known localization methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensorial Systems Applied to Intelligent Spaces)
Open AccessArticle
Brillouin Corrosion Expansion Sensors for Steel Reinforced Concrete Structures Using a Fiber Optic Coil Winding Method
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10798-10819; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110798 - 16 Nov 2011
Cited by 56 | Viewed by 6310
Abstract
In this paper, a novel kind of method to monitor corrosion expansion of steel rebars in steel reinforced concrete structures named fiber optic coil winding method is proposed, discussed and tested. It is based on the fiber optical Brillouin sensing technique. Firstly, a [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel kind of method to monitor corrosion expansion of steel rebars in steel reinforced concrete structures named fiber optic coil winding method is proposed, discussed and tested. It is based on the fiber optical Brillouin sensing technique. Firstly, a strain calibration experiment is designed and conducted to obtain the strain coefficient of single mode fiber optics. Results have shown that there is a good linear relationship between Brillouin frequency and applied strain. Then, three kinds of novel fiber optical Brillouin corrosion expansion sensors with different fiber optic coil winding packaging schemes are designed. Sensors were embedded into concrete specimens to monitor expansion strain caused by steel rebar corrosion, and their performance was studied in a designed electrochemical corrosion acceleration experiment. Experimental results have shown that expansion strain along the fiber optic coil winding area can be detected and measured by the three kinds of sensors with different measurement range during development the corrosion. With the assumption of uniform corrosion, diameters of corrosion steel rebars were obtained using calculated average strains. A maximum expansion strain of 6,738 με was monitored. Furthermore, the uniform corrosion analysis model was established and the evaluation formula to evaluate mass loss rate of steel rebar under a given corrosion rust expansion rate was derived. The research has shown that three kinds of Brillouin sensors can be used to monitor the steel rebar corrosion expansion of reinforced concrete structures with good sensitivity, accuracy and monitoring range, and can be applied to monitor different levels of corrosion. By means of this kind of monitoring technique, quantitative corrosion expansion monitoring can be carried out, with the virtues of long durability, real-time monitoring and quasi-distribution monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors 2012)
Open AccessArticle
A Nanostructured Piezoelectric Immunosensor for Detection of Human Cardiac Troponin T
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10785-10797; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110785 - 16 Nov 2011
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 5877
Abstract
A piezoelectric immunosensor based on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) co-immobilized on a dithiol-modified surface is proposed for detection of human cardiac troponin T (TnT). Anti-human troponin T (anti-TnT) antibodies were covalently immobilized on the nanostructured electrode surface by thiol-aldehyde linkages. In a homogeneous bulk [...] Read more.
A piezoelectric immunosensor based on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) co-immobilized on a dithiol-modified surface is proposed for detection of human cardiac troponin T (TnT). Anti-human troponin T (anti-TnT) antibodies were covalently immobilized on the nanostructured electrode surface by thiol-aldehyde linkages. In a homogeneous bulk solution, TnT was captured by anti-TnT immobilized on the QCM electrode. Cyclic voltammetry studies were used to characterize the AuNPs layer on the electrode surface and the anti-TnT immobilization steps. The QCM-flow immunosensor exhibited good reliability, measuring concentrations of TnT from 0.003 to 0.5 ng mL−1 in human serum with high linearity (r = 0.989; p < 0.01). The immunosensor exhibited a 7% coefficient of variation and 0.0015 ng mL−1 limit of detection, indicating a high reproducibility and sensitivity. The proposed QCM nanostructured immunosensor is easy to use and has promising potential in the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction due to its speed and high sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Biosensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Doppler Effect on the Pulse Compression of Different Codes Emitted by an Ultrasonic LPS
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10765-10784; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110765 - 15 Nov 2011
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4372
Abstract
This work analyses the effect of the receiver movement on the detection by pulse compression of different families of codes characterizing the emissions of an Ultrasonic Local Positioning System. Three families of codes have been compared: Kasami, Complementary Sets of Sequences and Loosely [...] Read more.
This work analyses the effect of the receiver movement on the detection by pulse compression of different families of codes characterizing the emissions of an Ultrasonic Local Positioning System. Three families of codes have been compared: Kasami, Complementary Sets of Sequences and Loosely Synchronous, considering in all cases three different lengths close to 64, 256 and 1,024 bits. This comparison is first carried out by using a system model in order to obtain a set of results that are then experimentally validated with the help of an electric slider that provides radial speeds up to 2 m/s. The performance of the codes under analysis has been characterized by means of the auto-correlation and cross-correlation bounds. The results derived from this study should be of interest to anyone performing matched filtering of ultrasonic signals with a moving emitter/receiver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensorial Systems Applied to Intelligent Spaces)
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Open AccessArticle
Sensor Network Architectures for Monitoring Underwater Pipelines
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10738-10764; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110738 - 15 Nov 2011
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 7120
Abstract
This paper develops and compares different sensor network architecture designs that can be used for monitoring underwater pipeline infrastructures. These architectures are underwater wired sensor networks, underwater acoustic wireless sensor networks, RF (Radio Frequency) wireless sensor networks, integrated wired/acoustic wireless sensor networks, and [...] Read more.
This paper develops and compares different sensor network architecture designs that can be used for monitoring underwater pipeline infrastructures. These architectures are underwater wired sensor networks, underwater acoustic wireless sensor networks, RF (Radio Frequency) wireless sensor networks, integrated wired/acoustic wireless sensor networks, and integrated wired/RF wireless sensor networks. The paper also discusses the reliability challenges and enhancement approaches for these network architectures. The reliability evaluation, characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages among these architectures are discussed and compared. Three reliability factors are used for the discussion and comparison: the network connectivity, the continuity of power supply for the network, and the physical network security. In addition, the paper also develops and evaluates a hierarchical sensor network framework for underwater pipeline monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Sensor Nodes and Underwater Sensor Networks)
Open AccessArticle
A Configurable Sensor Network Applied to Ambient Assisted Living
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10724-10737; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110724 - 15 Nov 2011
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5003
Abstract
The rising older people population has increased the interest in Ambient Assisted Living systems. This article presents a system for monitoring the disabled or older persons developed from an existing surveillance system. The modularity and adaptability characteristics of the system allow an easy [...] Read more.
The rising older people population has increased the interest in Ambient Assisted Living systems. This article presents a system for monitoring the disabled or older persons developed from an existing surveillance system. The modularity and adaptability characteristics of the system allow an easy adaptation for a different purpose. The proposed system uses a network of sensors capable of motion detection that includes fall warning, identification of persons and a configurable control system which allows its use in different scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Spaces and Ubiquitous Solutions)
Open AccessReview
Piezoresistive Strain Sensors Made from Carbon Nanotubes Based Polymer Nanocomposites
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10691-10723; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110691 - 11 Nov 2011
Cited by 390 | Viewed by 9216
Abstract
In recent years, nanocomposites based on various nano-scale carbon fillers, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are increasingly being thought of as a realistic alternative to conventional smart materials, largely due to their superior electrical properties. Great interest has been generated in building highly [...] Read more.
In recent years, nanocomposites based on various nano-scale carbon fillers, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are increasingly being thought of as a realistic alternative to conventional smart materials, largely due to their superior electrical properties. Great interest has been generated in building highly sensitive strain sensors with these new nanocomposites. This article reviews the recent significant developments in the field of highly sensitive strain sensors made from CNT/polymer nanocomposites. We focus on the following two topics: electrical conductivity and piezoresistivity of CNT/polymer nanocomposites, and the relationship between them by considering the internal conductive network formed by CNTs, tunneling effect, aspect ratio and piezoresistivity of CNTs themselves, etc. Many recent experimental, theoretical and numerical studies in this field are described in detail to uncover the working mechanisms of this new type of strain sensors and to demonstrate some possible key factors for improving the sensor sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Low-Cost Oil Quality Sensor Based on Changes in Complex Permittivity
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10675-10690; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110675 - 10 Nov 2011
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4802
Abstract
Real time oil quality monitoring techniques help to protect important industry assets, minimize downtime and reduce maintenance costs. The measurement of a lubricant’s complex permittivity is an effective indicator of the oil degradation process and it can be useful in condition based maintenance [...] Read more.
Real time oil quality monitoring techniques help to protect important industry assets, minimize downtime and reduce maintenance costs. The measurement of a lubricant’s complex permittivity is an effective indicator of the oil degradation process and it can be useful in condition based maintenance (CBM) to select the most adequate oil replacement maintenance schedules. A discussion of the working principles of an oil quality sensor based on a marginal oscillator to monitor the losses of the dielectric at high frequencies (>1 MHz) is presented. An electronic design procedure is covered which results in a low cost, effective and ruggedized sensor implementation suitable for use in harsh environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Interoperation of an UHF RFID Reader and a TCP/IP Device via Wired and Wireless Links
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10664-10674; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110664 - 08 Nov 2011
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4238
Abstract
A main application in radio frequency identification (RFID) sensor networks is the function that processes real-time tag information after gathering the required data from multiple RFID tags. The component technologies that contain an RFID reader, called the interrogator, which has a tag chip, [...] Read more.
A main application in radio frequency identification (RFID) sensor networks is the function that processes real-time tag information after gathering the required data from multiple RFID tags. The component technologies that contain an RFID reader, called the interrogator, which has a tag chip, processors, coupling antenna, and a power management system have advanced significantly over the last decade. This paper presents a system implementation for interoperation between an UHF RFID reader and a TCP/IP device that is used as a gateway. The proposed system consists of an UHF RFID tag, an UHF RFID reader, an RF end-device, an RF coordinator, and a TCP/IP I/F. The UHF RFID reader, operating at 915 MHz, is compatible with EPC Class-0/Gen1, Class-1/Gen1 and 2, and ISO18000-6B. In particular, the UHF RFID reader can be combined with the RF end-device/coordinator for a ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4) interface, which is a low-power wireless standard. The TCP/IP device communicates with the RFID reader via wired links. On the other hand, it is connected to the ZigBee end-device via wireless links. The web based test results show that the developed system can remotely recognize information of multiple tags through the interoperation between the RFID reader and the TCP/IP device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from FGIT 2010)
Open AccessArticle
Bio-Sensing of Cadmium(II) Ions Using Staphylococcus aureus
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10638-10663; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110638 - 08 Nov 2011
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 6403
Abstract
Cadmium, as a hazardous pollutant commonly present in the living environment, represents an important risk to human health due to its undesirable effects (oxidative stress, changes in activities of many enzymes, interactions with biomolecules including DNA and RNA) and consequent potential risk, making [...] Read more.
Cadmium, as a hazardous pollutant commonly present in the living environment, represents an important risk to human health due to its undesirable effects (oxidative stress, changes in activities of many enzymes, interactions with biomolecules including DNA and RNA) and consequent potential risk, making its detection very important. New and unique technological and biotechnological approaches for solving this problems are intensely sought. In this study, we used the commonly occurring potential pathogenic microorganism Staphylococcus aureus for the determination of markers which could be used for sensing of cadmium(II) ions. We were focused on monitoring the effects of different cadmium(II) ion concentrations (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 µg mL−1) on the growth and energetic metabolism of Staphylococcus aureus. Highly significant changes have been detected in the metabolism of thiol compounds—specifically the protein metallothionein (0.79–26.82 mmol/mg of protein), the enzyme glutathione S-transferase (190–5,827 µmol/min/mg of protein), and sulfhydryl groups (9.6–274.3 µmol cysteine/mg of protein). The ratio of reduced and oxidized glutathione indicated marked oxidative stress. In addition, dramatic changes in urease activity, which is connected with resistance of bacteria, were determined. Further, the effects of cadmium(II) ions on the metabolic pathways of arginine, β-glucosidase, phosphatase, N-acetyl β-D-glucosamine, sucrose, trehalose, mannitol, maltose, lactose, fructose and total proteins were demonstrated. A metabolomic profile of Staphylococcus aureus under cadmium(II) ion treatment conditions was completed seeking data about the possibility of cadmium(II) ion accumulation in cells. The results demonstrate potential in the application of microorganisms as modern biosensor systems based on biological components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing of Toxic and Hazardous Metals in Various Environmental Media)
Open AccessReview
Surface X-Ray Diffraction Results on the III-V Droplet Heteroepitaxy Growth Process for Quantum Dots: Recent Understanding and Open Questions
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10624-10637; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110624 - 08 Nov 2011
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4595
Abstract
In recent years, epitaxial growth of self-assembled quantum dots has offered a way to incorporate new properties into existing solid state devices. Although the droplet heteroepitaxy method is relatively complex, it is quite relaxed with respect to the material combinations that can be [...] Read more.
In recent years, epitaxial growth of self-assembled quantum dots has offered a way to incorporate new properties into existing solid state devices. Although the droplet heteroepitaxy method is relatively complex, it is quite relaxed with respect to the material combinations that can be used. This offers great flexibility in the systems that can be achieved. In this paper we review the structure and composition of a number of quantum dot systems grown by the droplet heteroepitaxy method, emphasizing the insights that these experiments provide with respect to the growth process. Detailed structural and composition information has been obtained using surface X-ray diffraction analyzed by the COBRA phase retrieval method. A number of interesting phenomena have been observed: penetration of the dots into the substrate (“nano-drilling”) is often encountered; interdiffusion and intermixing already start when the group III droplets are deposited, and structure and composition may be very different from the one initially intended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing with Quantum Dots)
Open AccessArticle
All-Optical Frequency Modulated High Pressure MEMS Sensor for Remote and Distributed Sensing
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10615-10623; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110615 - 08 Nov 2011
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3760
Abstract
We present the design, fabrication and characterization of a new all-optical frequency modulated pressure sensor. Using the tangential strain in a circular membrane, a waveguide with an integrated nanoscale Bragg grating is strained longitudinally proportional to the applied pressure causing a shift in [...] Read more.
We present the design, fabrication and characterization of a new all-optical frequency modulated pressure sensor. Using the tangential strain in a circular membrane, a waveguide with an integrated nanoscale Bragg grating is strained longitudinally proportional to the applied pressure causing a shift in the Bragg wavelength. The simple and robust design combined with the small chip area of 1 × 1.8 mm2 makes the sensor ideally suited for remote and distributed sensing in harsh environments and where miniaturized sensors are required. The sensor is designed for high pressure applications up to 350 bar and with a sensitivity of 4.8 pm/bar (i.e., 350 ×105 Pa and 4.8 × 10−5 pm/Pa, respectively). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Design of Selective Gas Sensors Using Additive-Loaded In2O3 Hollow Spheres Prepared by Combinatorial Hydrothermal Reactions
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10603-10614; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110603 - 07 Nov 2011
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4270
Abstract
A combinatorial hydrothermal reaction has been used to prepare pure and additive (Sb, Cu, Nb, Pd, and Ni)-loaded In2O3 hollow spheres for gas sensor applications. The operation of Pd- and Cu-loaded In2O3 sensors at 371 °C leads [...] Read more.
A combinatorial hydrothermal reaction has been used to prepare pure and additive (Sb, Cu, Nb, Pd, and Ni)-loaded In2O3 hollow spheres for gas sensor applications. The operation of Pd- and Cu-loaded In2O3 sensors at 371 °C leads to selective H2S detection. Selective detection of CO and NH3 was achieved by the Ni-In2O3 sensor at sensing temperatures of 371 and 440 °C, respectively. The gas responses of six different sensors to NH3, H2S, H2, CO and CH4 produced unique gas sensing patterns that can be used for the artificial recognition of these gases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing at the Nano-Scale: Chemical and Bio-Sensing)
Open AccessArticle
Absolute Radiometric Calibration of ALS Intensity Data: Effects on Accuracy and Target Classification
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10586-10602; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110586 - 07 Nov 2011
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4910
Abstract
Radiometric calibration of airborne laser scanning (ALS) intensity data aims at retrieving a value related to the target scattering properties, which is independent on the instrument or flight parameters. The aim of a calibration procedure is also to be able to compare results [...] Read more.
Radiometric calibration of airborne laser scanning (ALS) intensity data aims at retrieving a value related to the target scattering properties, which is independent on the instrument or flight parameters. The aim of a calibration procedure is also to be able to compare results from different flights and instruments, but practical applications are sparsely available, and the performance of calibration methods for this purpose needs to be further assessed. We have studied the radiometric calibration with data from three separate flights and two different instruments using external calibration targets. We find that the intensity data from different flights and instruments can be compared to each other only after a radiometric calibration process using separate calibration targets carefully selected for each flight. The calibration is also necessary for target classification purposes, such as separating vegetation from sand using intensity data from different flights. The classification results are meaningful only for calibrated intensity data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Kinematics of Gait: New Method for Angle Estimation Based on Accelerometers
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10571-10585; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110571 - 07 Nov 2011
Cited by 56 | Viewed by 6048
Abstract
A new method for estimation of angles of leg segments and joints, which uses accelerometer arrays attached to body segments, is described. An array consists of two accelerometers mounted on a rigid rod. The absolute angle of each body segment was determined by [...] Read more.
A new method for estimation of angles of leg segments and joints, which uses accelerometer arrays attached to body segments, is described. An array consists of two accelerometers mounted on a rigid rod. The absolute angle of each body segment was determined by band pass filtering of the differences between signals from parallel axes from two accelerometers mounted on the same rod. Joint angles were evaluated by subtracting absolute angles of the neighboring segments. This method eliminates the need for double integration as well as the drift typical for double integration. The efficiency of the algorithm is illustrated by experimental results involving healthy subjects who walked on a treadmill at various speeds, ranging between 0.15 m/s and 2.0 m/s. The validation was performed by comparing the estimated joint angles with the joint angles measured with flexible goniometers. The discrepancies were assessed by the differences between the two sets of data (obtained to be below 6 degrees) and by the Pearson correlation coefficient (greater than 0.97 for the knee angle and greater than 0.85 for the ankle angle). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Simplistic Attachment and Multispectral Imaging with Semiconductor Nanocrystals
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10557-10570; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110557 - 07 Nov 2011
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4391
Abstract
Advances in spectral deconvolution technologies are rapidly enabling researchers to replace or enhance traditional epifluorescence microscopes with instruments capable of detecting numerous markers simultaneously in a multiplexed fashion. While significantly expediting sample throughput and elucidating sample information, this technology is limited by the [...] Read more.
Advances in spectral deconvolution technologies are rapidly enabling researchers to replace or enhance traditional epifluorescence microscopes with instruments capable of detecting numerous markers simultaneously in a multiplexed fashion. While significantly expediting sample throughput and elucidating sample information, this technology is limited by the spectral width of common fluorescence reporters. Semiconductor nanocrystals (NC’s) are very bright, narrow band fluorescence emitters with great potential for multiplexed fluorescence detection, however the availability of NC’s with facile attachment chemistries to targeting molecules has been a severe limitation to the advancement of NC technology in applications such as immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Here we report the development of simple, yet novel attachment chemistries for antibodies onto NC’s and demonstrate how spectral deconvolution technology enables the multiplexed detection of 5 distinct NC-antibody conjugates with fluorescence emission wavelengths separated by as little as 20 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing with Quantum Dots)
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Open AccessArticle
Automated Image Analysis for the Detection of Benthic Crustaceans and Bacterial Mat Coverage Using the VENUS Undersea Cabled Network
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10534-10556; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110534 - 04 Nov 2011
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5333
Abstract
The development and deployment of sensors for undersea cabled observatories is presently biased toward the measurement of habitat variables, while sensor technologies for biological community characterization through species identification and individual counting are less common. The VENUS cabled multisensory network (Vancouver Island, Canada) [...] Read more.
The development and deployment of sensors for undersea cabled observatories is presently biased toward the measurement of habitat variables, while sensor technologies for biological community characterization through species identification and individual counting are less common. The VENUS cabled multisensory network (Vancouver Island, Canada) deploys seafloor camera systems at several sites. Our objective in this study was to implement new automated image analysis protocols for the recognition and counting of benthic decapods (i.e., the galatheid squat lobster, Munida quadrispina), as well as for the evaluation of changes in bacterial mat coverage (i.e., Beggiatoa spp.), using a camera deployed in Saanich Inlet (103 m depth). For the counting of Munida we remotely acquired 100 digital photos at hourly intervals from 2 to 6 December 2009. In the case of bacterial mat coverage estimation, images were taken from 2 to 8 December 2009 at the same time frequency. The automated image analysis protocols for both study cases were created in MatLab 7.1. Automation for Munida counting incorporated the combination of both filtering and background correction (Median- and Top-Hat Filters) with Euclidean Distances (ED) on Red-Green-Blue (RGB) channels. The Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features and Fourier Descriptors (FD) of tracked objects were then extracted. Animal classifications were carried out with the tools of morphometric multivariate statistic (i.e., Partial Least Square Discriminant Analysis; PLSDA) on Mean RGB (RGBv) value for each object and Fourier Descriptors (RGBv+FD) matrices plus SIFT and ED. The SIFT approach returned the better results. Higher percentages of images were correctly classified and lower misclassification errors (an animal is present but not detected) occurred. In contrast, RGBv+FD and ED resulted in a high incidence of records being generated for non-present animals. Bacterial mat coverage was estimated in terms of Percent Coverage and Fractal Dimension. A constant Region of Interest (ROI) was defined and background extraction by a Gaussian Blurring Filter was performed. Image subtraction within ROI was followed by the sum of the RGB channels matrices. Percent Coverage was calculated on the resulting image. Fractal Dimension was estimated using the box-counting method. The images were then resized to a dimension in pixels equal to a power of 2, allowing subdivision into sub-multiple quadrants. In comparisons of manual and automated Percent Coverage and Fractal Dimension estimates, the former showed an overestimation tendency for both parameters. The primary limitations on the automatic analysis of benthic images were habitat variations in sediment texture and water column turbidity. The application of filters for background corrections is a required preliminary step for the efficient recognition of animals and bacterial mat patches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Inductive Coil Shape on Sensing Performance of Linear Displacement Sensor Using Thin Inductive Coil and Pattern Guide
Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10522-10533; https://doi.org/10.3390/s111110522 - 03 Nov 2011
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4790
Abstract
This paper discusses the effect of inductive coil shape on the sensing performance of a linear displacement sensor. The linear displacement sensor consists of a thin type inductive coil with a thin pattern guide, thus being suitable for tiny space applications. The position [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the effect of inductive coil shape on the sensing performance of a linear displacement sensor. The linear displacement sensor consists of a thin type inductive coil with a thin pattern guide, thus being suitable for tiny space applications. The position can be detected by measuring the inductance of the inductive coil. At each position due to the change in inductive coil area facing the pattern guide the value of inductance is different. Therefore, the objective of this research is to study various inductive coil pattern shapes and to propose the pattern that can achieve good sensing performance. Various shapes of meander, triangular type meander, square and circle shape with different turn number of inductive coils are examined in this study. The inductance is measured with the sensor sensitivity and linearity as a performance evaluation parameter of the sensor. In conclusion, each inductive coil shape has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the circle shape inductive coil produces high sensitivity with a low linearity response. Meanwhile, the square shape inductive coil has a medium sensitivity with higher linearity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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