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Sensors 2011, 11(9), 8826-8835;

A High-Precision Micropipette Sensor for Cellular-Level Real-Time Thermal Characterization

Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, University of North Texas, 3940 N. Elm St, Denton, TX 76207, USA
Department of Nanomechanical Systems, Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, 156 Gajungbukno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-343, Korea
Department of Mechanical Engineering, POSTECH, San 31 Hyoja-Dong, Nam-Gu, Pohang, Gyungbuk 790-784, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2011 / Revised: 7 September 2011 / Accepted: 7 September 2011 / Published: 13 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [593 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


We report herein development of a novel glass micropipette thermal sensor fabricated in a cost-effective manner, which is capable of measuring steady thermal fluctuation at spatial resolution of ~2 µm with an accuracy of ±0.01 °C. We produced and tested various micrometer-sized sensors, ranging from 2 µm to 30 µm. The sensor comprises unleaded low-melting-point solder alloy (Sn-based) as a core metal inside a pulled borosilicate glass pipette and a thin film of nickel coating outside, creating a thermocouple junction at the tip. The sensor was calibrated using a thermally insulated calibration chamber, the temperature of which can be controlled with an accuracy of ±0.01 °C, and the thermoelectric power (Seebeck coefficient) of the sensor was recorded from 8.46 to 8.86 µV/°C. We have demonstrated the capability of measuring temperatures at a cellular level by inserting our temperature sensor into the membrane of a live retinal pigment epithelium cell subjected to a laser beam with a focal spot of 6 μm. We measured transient temperature profiles and the maximum temperatures were in the range of 38–55 ± 0.5 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: micropipette; thermal sensor; cellular-level; laser micropipette; thermal sensor; cellular-level; laser
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Shrestha, R.; Choi, T.-Y.; Chang, W.; Kim, D. A High-Precision Micropipette Sensor for Cellular-Level Real-Time Thermal Characterization. Sensors 2011, 11, 8826-8835.

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