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Open AccessArticle

MEMS-Based Power Generation Techniques for Implantable Biosensing Applications

Mechanical Engineering Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton Alberta, AB, T6G 2G8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2011, 11(2), 1433-1460;
Received: 29 October 2010 / Revised: 21 January 2011 / Accepted: 23 January 2011 / Published: 26 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Embedded Sensors)
Implantable biosensing is attractive for both medical monitoring and diagnostic applications. It is possible to monitor phenomena such as physical loads on joints or implants, vital signs, or osseointegration in vivo and in real time. Microelectromechanical (MEMS)-based generation techniques can allow for the autonomous operation of implantable biosensors by generating electrical power to replace or supplement existing battery-based power systems. By supplementing existing battery-based power systems for implantable biosensors, the operational lifetime of the sensor is increased. In addition, the potential for a greater amount of available power allows additional components to be added to the biosensing module, such as computational and wireless and components, improving functionality and performance of the biosensor. Photovoltaic, thermovoltaic, micro fuel cell, electrostatic, electromagnetic, and piezoelectric based generation schemes are evaluated in this paper for applicability for implantable biosensing. MEMS-based generation techniques that harvest ambient energy, such as vibration, are much better suited for implantable biosensing applications than fuel-based approaches, producing up to milliwatts of electrical power. High power density MEMS-based approaches, such as piezoelectric and electromagnetic schemes, allow for supplemental and replacement power schemes for biosensing applications to improve device capabilities and performance. In addition, this may allow for the biosensor to be further miniaturized, reducing the need for relatively large batteries with respect to device size. This would cause the implanted biosensor to be less invasive, increasing the quality of care received by the patient. View Full-Text
Keywords: power micro-generation; implantable biosensors; photovoltaic; thermovoltaic; micro fuel cell; electrostatic; electromagnetic; piezoelectric power micro-generation; implantable biosensors; photovoltaic; thermovoltaic; micro fuel cell; electrostatic; electromagnetic; piezoelectric
MDPI and ACS Style

Lueke, J.; Moussa, W.A. MEMS-Based Power Generation Techniques for Implantable Biosensing Applications. Sensors 2011, 11, 1433-1460.

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