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Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6089-6108;

A Self-Sensing Piezoelectric MicroCantilever Biosensor for Detection of Ultrasmall Adsorbed Masses: Theory and Experiments

Piezoactive Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA
Nanomedicine Science and Technology Center, Department of Physics, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 April 2013 / Revised: 4 May 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Sensors and Actuators)
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Detection of ultrasmall masses such as proteins and pathogens has been made possible as a result of advancements in nanotechnology. Development of label-free and highly sensitive biosensors has enabled the transduction of molecular recognition into detectable physical quantities. Microcantilever (MC)-based systems have played a widespread role in developing such biosensors. One of the most important drawbacks of all of the available biosensors is that they all come at a very high cost. Moreover, there are certain limitations in the measurement equipments attached to the biosensors which are mostly optical measurement systems. A unique self-sensing detection technique is proposed in this paper in order to address most of the limitations of the current measurement systems. A self-sensing bridge is used to excite piezoelectric MC-based sensor functioning in dynamic mode, which simultaneously measures the system’s response through the self-induced voltage generated in the piezoelectric material. As a result, the need for bulky, expensive read-out equipment is eliminated. A comprehensive mathematical model is presented for the proposed self-sensing detection platform using distributed-parameters system modeling. An adaptation strategy is then implemented in the second part in order to compensate for the time-variation of piezoelectric properties which dynamically improves the behavior of the system. Finally, results are reported from an extensive experimental investigation carried out to prove the capability of the proposed platform. Experimental results verified the proposed mathematical modeling presented in the first part of the study with accuracy of 97.48%. Implementing the adaptation strategy increased the accuracy to 99.82%. These results proved the measurement capability of the proposed self-sensing strategy. It enables development of a cost-effective, sensitive and miniaturized mass sensing platform. View Full-Text
Keywords: microcantilever; biosensor; distributed-parameter modeling; mass detection microcantilever; biosensor; distributed-parameter modeling; mass detection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Faegh, S.; Jalili, N.; Sridhar, S. A Self-Sensing Piezoelectric MicroCantilever Biosensor for Detection of Ultrasmall Adsorbed Masses: Theory and Experiments. Sensors 2013, 13, 6089-6108.

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