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Micromachines, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 74 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Fabricating nano-scale objects in desired morphology is of interest for the development of functional molecular devices. As one of the most powerful technologies to assemble such nanostructures with desired shape and significant accuracy, great attention has been paid to the DNA origami technique. In this paper, using the DNA origami technique, we designed a novel nano-scale module whose morphology can be programmed in various ways. We employed a heptagonal shape for the module that has seven joints and seven edges. Since the flexibility of each joint and connectivity of each edge can be specified independently, combinatorially a large number of morphologies can be potentially formed, some of which were successfully demonstrated through direct observation using atomic force microscopy. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Analysis and Experiment of 6-DOF Compliant Platform Based on Bridge-Type Amplifier
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111024 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 403
Abstract
In this paper, we establish a dynamic model of a six-degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) compliant positioning platform based on bridge-type amplifiers. Based on the elastic beam theory and energy relationship, we derived the bridge-type amplifier’s dynamic model using the Lagrange equation. Then, we established a [...] Read more.
In this paper, we establish a dynamic model of a six-degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) compliant positioning platform based on bridge-type amplifiers. Based on the elastic beam theory and energy relationship, we derived the bridge-type amplifier’s dynamic model using the Lagrange equation. Then, we established a dynamic model of the compliant platform based on the equivalent mass and equivalent stiffness of the bridge-type amplifier, and the analysis formula of the natural frequency was derived. Finally, the analytical models of natural frequencies of the bridge-type amplifier and the compliant platforms were verified using the finite element analysis (FEA) method. Through modal experiments, the damping ratio and natural frequency were identified. Step response experiments in the X/Y direction and Z direction were performed. The phenomenon that the experimental results appeared to match the theoretical calculations indicates that the dynamic model was accurate. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Extended Applications of the Depth-Sensing Indentation Method
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111023 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 422
Abstract
The depth-sensing indentation method has been applied for almost 30 years. In this review, a survey of several extended applications developed during the last three decades is provided. In depth-sensing indentation measurements, the load and penetration depth data are detected as a function [...] Read more.
The depth-sensing indentation method has been applied for almost 30 years. In this review, a survey of several extended applications developed during the last three decades is provided. In depth-sensing indentation measurements, the load and penetration depth data are detected as a function of time, in most cases at controlled loading rates. Therefore, beside the determination of hardness and Young’s modulus, different deformation mechanisms and many other dynamic characteristics and phenomena, such as the dynamic elastic modulus, load-induced phase transition, strain rate sensitivity, etc. can be studied. These extended applications of depth-sensing indentation measurements are briefly described and reviewed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Resonant Pressure Microsensor with Temperature Compensation Method Based on Differential Outputs and a Temperature Sensor
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111022 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 448
Abstract
This paper presents the analysis and characterization of a resonant pressure microsensor, which employs a temperature compensation method based on differential outputs and a temperature sensor. Leveraging a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer, this microsensor mainly consists of a pressure-sensitive diagram and two resonant beams [...] Read more.
This paper presents the analysis and characterization of a resonant pressure microsensor, which employs a temperature compensation method based on differential outputs and a temperature sensor. Leveraging a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer, this microsensor mainly consists of a pressure-sensitive diagram and two resonant beams (electromagnetic driving and electromagnetic induction) to produce a differential output. The resonators were vacuum packaged with a silicon-on-glass (SOG) cap using anodic bonding and the wire interconnection was realized by sputtering an Au film on highly topographic surfaces using a hard mask. After the fabrication of the resonant pressure microsensor, systematic experiments demonstrated that the pressure sensitivity of the presented microsensor was about 0.33 kPa/Hz. Utilizing the differential frequency of the two resonators and the signal from a temperature sensor to replace the two-frequency signals by polynomial fitting, the temperature compensation method based on differential outputs aims to increase the surface fitting accuracy of these microsensors which have turnover points. Employing the proposed compensation approach in this study, the errors were less than 0.02% FS of the full pressure scale (a temperature range of −40 to 85 °C and a pressure range of 200 kPa to 2000 kPa). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resonant Microsensors)
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Open AccessReview
Random Error Reduction Algorithms for MEMS Inertial Sensor Accuracy Improvement—A Review
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111021 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Research and industrial studies have indicated that small size, low cost, high precision, and ease of integration are vital features that characterize microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors for mass production and diverse applications. In recent times, sensors like MEMS accelerometers and MEMS gyroscopes [...] Read more.
Research and industrial studies have indicated that small size, low cost, high precision, and ease of integration are vital features that characterize microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors for mass production and diverse applications. In recent times, sensors like MEMS accelerometers and MEMS gyroscopes have been sought in an increased application range such as medical devices for health care to defense and military weapons. An important limitation of MEMS inertial sensors is repeatedly documented as the ease of being influenced by environmental noise from random sources, along with mechanical and electronic artifacts in the underlying systems, and other random noise. Thus, random error processing is essential for proper elimination of artifact signals and improvement of the accuracy and reliability from such sensors. In this paper, a systematic review is carried out by investigating different random error signal processing models that have been recently developed for MEMS inertial sensor precision improvement. For this purpose, an in-depth literature search was performed on several databases viz., Web of Science, IEEE Xplore, Science Direct, and Association for Computing Machinery Digital Library. Forty-nine representative papers that focused on the processing of signals from MEMS accelerometers, MEMS gyroscopes, and MEMS inertial measuring units, published in journal or conference formats, and indexed on the databases within the last 10 years, were downloaded and carefully reviewed. From this literature overview, 30 mainstream algorithms were extracted and categorized into seven groups, which were analyzed to present the contributions, strengths, and weaknesses of the literature. Additionally, a summary of the models developed in the studies was presented, along with their working principles viz., application domain, and the conclusions made in the studies. Finally, the development trend of MEMS inertial sensor technology and its application prospects were presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in MEMS Gyroscope)
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Open AccessArticle
Localization and Actuation for MNPs Based on Magnetic Field-Free Point: Feasibility of Movable Electromagnetic Actuations
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111020 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Targeted drug delivery (TDD) based on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and external magnetic actuation is a promising drug delivery technology compared to conventional treatments usually utilized in cancer therapy. However, the implementation of a TDD system at a clinical site based on considerations for [...] Read more.
Targeted drug delivery (TDD) based on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and external magnetic actuation is a promising drug delivery technology compared to conventional treatments usually utilized in cancer therapy. However, the implementation of a TDD system at a clinical site based on considerations for the actual size of the human body requires a simplified structure capable of both external actuation and localization. To address these requirements, we propose a novel approach to localize drug carriers containing MNPs by manipulating the field-free point (FFP) mechanism in the principal magnetic field. To this end, we devise a versatile electromagnetic actuation (EMA) system for FFP generation based on four coils affixed to a movable frame. By the Biot–Savart law, the FFP can be manipulated by appropriately controlling the gradient field strength at the target area using the EMA system. Further, weighted-norm solutions are utilized to correct the positions of FFP to improve the accuracy of FFP displacement in the region of interest (ROI). As MNPs, ferrofluid is used to experiment with 2D and 3D localizations in a blocked phantom placed in the designed ROI. The resultant root mean square error of the localizations is observed to be approximately 1.4 mm in the 2D case and 1.6 mm in the 3D case. Further, the proposed movable EMA is verified to be capable of simultaneously scanning multiple points as well as the actuation and imaging of MNPs. Based on the success of the experiments in this study, further research is intended to be conducted in scale-up system development to design precise TDD systems at clinical sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Microswimmers)
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Open AccessArticle
Current Progress towards the Integration of Thermocouple and Chipless RFID Technologies and the Sensing of a Dynamic Stimulus
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111019 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 358
Abstract
To date, no printable chipless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor-related publications in the current literature discuss the possibility of thermocouple integration, particularly for the use in extreme environments. Furthermore, the effects of a time-dependent stimulus on the scattering parameters of a chipless RFID [...] Read more.
To date, no printable chipless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor-related publications in the current literature discuss the possibility of thermocouple integration, particularly for the use in extreme environments. Furthermore, the effects of a time-dependent stimulus on the scattering parameters of a chipless RFID have never been discussed in the known literature. This work includes a review of possible methods to achieve this goal and the design and characterization of a Barium Strontium Titanate (BST) based VHF/UHF voltage sensing circuit. Proof-of-concept thermocouple integration was attempted, and subsequent testing was performed using a signal generator. These subsequent tests involved applying ramp and sinusoid voltage waveforms to the circuit and the characteristics of these signals are largely extracted from the scattering response. Overall conclusions of this paper are that thermocouple integration into chipless RFID technology is still a significant challenge and further work is needed to identify methods of thermocouple integration. With that being said, the developed circuit shows promise as being capable of being configured into a conventional chipless RFID DC voltage sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation RFID Transponders)
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Open AccessArticle
Processing Characteristics of Micro Electrical Discharge Machining for Surface Modification of TiNi Shape Memory Alloys Using a TiC Powder Dielectric
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111018 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Titanium-nickel shape memory alloy (SMA) has good biomedical application value as an implant. Alloy corrosion will promote the release of toxic nickel ions and cause allergies and poisoning of cells and tissues. With this background, surface modification of TiNi SMAs using TiC-powder-assisted micro-electrical [...] Read more.
Titanium-nickel shape memory alloy (SMA) has good biomedical application value as an implant. Alloy corrosion will promote the release of toxic nickel ions and cause allergies and poisoning of cells and tissues. With this background, surface modification of TiNi SMAs using TiC-powder-assisted micro-electrical discharge machining (EDM) was proposed. This aims to explore the effect of the electrical discharge machining (EDM) parameters and TiC powder concentration on the machining properties and surface characteristics of the TiNi SMA. It was found that the material removal rate (MRR), surface roughness, and thickness of the recast layer increased with an increase in the discharge energy. TiC powder’s addition had a positive effect on increasing the electro-discharge frequency and MRR, reducing the surface roughness, and the maximum MRR and the minimum surface roughness occurred at a mixed powder concentration of 5 g/L. Moreover, the recast layer had good adhesion and high hardness due to metallurgical bonding. XRD analysis found that the machined surface contains CuO2, TiO2, and TiC phases, contributing to an increase in the surface microhardness from 258.5 to 438.7 HV, which could be beneficial for wear resistance in biomedical orthodontic applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Experiments of an Electrothermal Driven Deep-Sea Buoyancy Control Module
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111017 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Due to the extremely high pressures in the deep sea, heavy ballast tanks and pressure compensating hydraulic tanks are typically required to support the operation of classic buoyancy controls. Buoyancy control systems driven by phase-change materials (PCM) have unique advantages over conventional hydraulically [...] Read more.
Due to the extremely high pressures in the deep sea, heavy ballast tanks and pressure compensating hydraulic tanks are typically required to support the operation of classic buoyancy controls. Buoyancy control systems driven by phase-change materials (PCM) have unique advantages over conventional hydraulically actuated buoyancy control systems, including high adaptability for deep-sea exploration and simple, lightweight, and compact structures. Inspired by this, a buoyancy control module (BCM) was designed with flexible material as the shell. Instead of a conventional mechanical system, the device uses an electric heating drive to control buoyancy by heating and cooling the PCM. Based on the principle of pressure compensation, this device can adjust the buoyancy of a small underwater vehicle in a deep-sea high-pressure environment. The BCM successfully adjusts the buoyancy to lift itself up and down in the South China Sea at a depth of 3223 m. The performance of the phase-change BCM to control buoyancy under high pressure is validated by systematic experiments and theoretical analysis. Our work proposes a flexible scheme for the design of a deep-sea phase-change-driven BCM and highlights its potential application in deep-sea micro-mechanical systems, especially soft robots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in Micromachines)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Hexagonal Beam Steering Electrowetting Device for Solar Energy Concentration
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111016 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Traditional tracking devices for solar energy applications have several disadvantages, such as bulky mechanical structure, large wind loads, and ease of misalignment. This study aims to design a flat, thin, and adaptive beam steering device to eliminate these drawbacks. A proof of concept [...] Read more.
Traditional tracking devices for solar energy applications have several disadvantages, such as bulky mechanical structure, large wind loads, and ease of misalignment. This study aims to design a flat, thin, and adaptive beam steering device to eliminate these drawbacks. A proof of concept device was fabricated to demonstrate this design. The novelty of the proof of concept device is the hexagonal structure of the electrowetting cell design. The hexagonal cell was dosed with two immiscible liquids with different refractive indices. The hypothesis of this design is that by deforming the liquid shape with the application of voltage, light can be steered and concentrated for solar energy applications. A maximum contact angle change of 44° was observed with the application of 26 V to one of the electrodes of the hexagonal cell. The device demonstrated a 4.5° change of laser beam path with only a 0.2 refractive index difference of the liquids. The 3D simulation model developed in this study shows that a tilted and flat interface can be achieved using higher dielectric constant dielectric materials. The device can facilitate the planer steering and concentration of sunlight for rooftop applications without moving mechanical parts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beam Steering via Arrayed Micromachines)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on a New Type of Rigid-Flexible Coupling 3-DOF Micro-Positioning Platform
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111015 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 454
Abstract
A new type of rigid-flexible coupling three degrees of freedom (3-DOF) micro-positioning platform with high positioning accuracy and high bearing capacity is developed, which consists of flexible drive mechanism and rigid platform. The flexible drive mechanism consists of three sets of symmetrical parallel [...] Read more.
A new type of rigid-flexible coupling three degrees of freedom (3-DOF) micro-positioning platform with high positioning accuracy and high bearing capacity is developed, which consists of flexible drive mechanism and rigid platform. The flexible drive mechanism consists of three sets of symmetrical parallel round flexible hinge structures, each with a wedge structure in the middle of the symmetrical parallel flexible hinge. The rigid platform has an inclined plane with the same angle as the wedge, while the wedge structure is used to achieve the self-locking effect. The flexibility matrix method and ANSYS are used to analyze the statics of the flexible drive mechanism. The first four natural frequencies of the platform are obtained by dynamic simulation analysis. A symmetrical rigid flexible coupling micro-positioning platform experimental system is developed. Output characteristics, positioning accuracy, relationship between frequency and amplitude, and bearing performance of the micro-positioning platform are tested. These experimental results obviously show that the micro-positioning platform has good motion characteristics, high positioning accuracy, large movement distance, and large load bearing capacity performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section E:Engineering and Technology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Charge-Based Separation of Micro- and Nanoparticles
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111014 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Deterministic Lateral Displacement (DLD) is a label-free particle sorting method that separates by size continuously and with high resolution. By combining DLD with electric fields (eDLD), we show separation of a variety of nano and micro-sized particles primarily by their zeta potential. Zeta [...] Read more.
Deterministic Lateral Displacement (DLD) is a label-free particle sorting method that separates by size continuously and with high resolution. By combining DLD with electric fields (eDLD), we show separation of a variety of nano and micro-sized particles primarily by their zeta potential. Zeta potential is an indicator of electrokinetic charge—the charge corresponding to the electric field at the shear plane—an important property of micro- and nanoparticles in colloidal or separation science. We also demonstrate proof of principle of separation of nanoscale liposomes of different lipid compositions, with strong relevance for biomedicine. We perform careful characterization of relevant experimental conditions necessary to obtain adequate sorting of different particle types. By choosing a combination of frequency and amplitude, sorting can be made sensitive to the particle subgroup of interest. The enhanced displacement effect due to electrokinetics is found to be significant at low frequency and for particles with high zeta potential. The effect appears to scale with the square of the voltage, suggesting that it is associated with either non-linear electrokinetics or dielectrophoresis (DEP). However, since we observe large changes in separation behavior over the frequency range at which DEP forces are expected to remain constant, DEP can be ruled out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Particles Separation in Microfluidic Devices, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
A 21 m Operation Range RFID Tag for “Pick to Light” Applications with a Photovoltaic Harvester
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111013 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 538
Abstract
In this paper, a novel Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tag for “pick to light” applications is presented. The proposed tag architecture shows the implementation of a novel voltage limiter and a supply voltage (VDD) monitoring circuit to guarantee a correct operation between the tag [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tag for “pick to light” applications is presented. The proposed tag architecture shows the implementation of a novel voltage limiter and a supply voltage (VDD) monitoring circuit to guarantee a correct operation between the tag and the reader for the “pick to light” application. The feasibility to power the tag with different photovoltaic cells is also analyzed, showing the influence of the illuminance level (lx), type of source light (fluorescent, LED or halogen) and type of photovoltaic cell (photodiode or solar cell) on the amount of harvested energy. Measurements show that the photodiodes present a power per unit package area for low illuminance levels (500 lx) of around 0.08 μW/mm2, which is slightly higher than the measured one for a solar cell of 0.06 μW/mm2. However, solar cells present a more compact design for the same absolute harvested power due to the large number of required photodiodes in parallel. Finally, an RFID tag prototype for “pick to light” applications is implemented, showing an operation range of 3.7 m in fully passive mode. This operation range can be significantly increased to 21 m when the tag is powered by a solar cell with an illuminance level as low as 100 lx and a halogen bulb as source light. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation RFID Transponders)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of V-Shaped Beam on the Shock Resistance and Driving Frequency of Micro Quartz Tuning Forks Resonant Gyroscope
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111012 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The application of gyroscopes in harsh environments has always been a hot topic. As a high-quality material for manufacturing gyroscopes, quartz crystals need to be designed and optimized to meet the normal operation of gyroscopes in harsh environments. The Micro Electronics Mechanical System(MEMS) [...] Read more.
The application of gyroscopes in harsh environments has always been a hot topic. As a high-quality material for manufacturing gyroscopes, quartz crystals need to be designed and optimized to meet the normal operation of gyroscopes in harsh environments. The Micro Electronics Mechanical System(MEMS) quartz tuning forks resonant gyroscope is one of the quartz gyroscopes. The elastic structure (V-shaped beam) between the anchor support point and tuning forks plays a vital role in the MEMS quartz tuning forks resonant gyroscope. This structure determines the natural frequency of the gyroscope, and more importantly, determines the shock resistance of the gyroscope structure. In this article, the MEMS quartz tuning forks gyroscope with different V-shaped beam thicknesses are simulated and analyzed by finite element analysis simulation software. After the modal analysis and shock simulation (the half-cycle sine shock pulse with amplitude of 1500 g (g is the acceleration of gravity) and duration of 2 ms in the six shock directions), the results show that when the beam thickness is 80 μm, the maximum stress is 94.721 MPa, which is less than the failure stress of quartz crystal. The gyroscope’s shock resistance is verified through shock testing. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
On-Chip Multiple Particle Velocity and Size Measurement Using Single-Shot Two-Wavelength Differential Image Analysis
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111011 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Precise and quick measurement of samples’ flow velocities is essential for cell sorting timing control and reconstruction of acquired image-analyzed data. We developed a simple technique for the single-shot measurement of flow velocities of particles simultaneously in a microfluidic pathway. The speed was [...] Read more.
Precise and quick measurement of samples’ flow velocities is essential for cell sorting timing control and reconstruction of acquired image-analyzed data. We developed a simple technique for the single-shot measurement of flow velocities of particles simultaneously in a microfluidic pathway. The speed was calculated from the difference in the particles’ elongation in an acquired image that appeared when two wavelengths of light with different irradiation times were applied. We ran microparticles through an imaging flow cytometer and irradiated two wavelengths of light with different irradiation times simultaneously to those particles. The mixture of the two wavelength transmitted lights was divided into two wavelengths, and the images of the same microparticles for each wavelength were acquired in a single shot. We estimated the velocity from the difference of its elongation divided by the difference of irradiation time by comparing these two images. The distribution of polystyrene beads’ velocity was parabolic and highest at the center of the flow channel, consistent with the expected velocity distribution of the laminar flow. Applying the calculated velocity, we also restored the accurate shapes and cross-sectional areas of particles in the images, indicating this simple method for improving of imaging flow cytometry and cell sorter for diagnostic screening of circulating tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanofluidic Devices for Single Cell Analysis, Volume II)
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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Miniaturized Silicon Photodetectors: New Perspectives and Applications
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111010 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Silicon (Si) technologies provide an excellent platform for monolithically integrating both photonic [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ultra-Low Frequency Eccentric Pendulum-Based Electromagnetic Vibrational Energy Harvester
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111009 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 488
Abstract
With the development of low-power technology in electronic devices, the wireless sensor network shows great potential in applications in health tracing and ocean monitoring. These scenarios usually contain abundant low-frequency vibration energy, which can be collected through appropriate energy conversion architecture; thus, the [...] Read more.
With the development of low-power technology in electronic devices, the wireless sensor network shows great potential in applications in health tracing and ocean monitoring. These scenarios usually contain abundant low-frequency vibration energy, which can be collected through appropriate energy conversion architecture; thus, the common issue of limited battery life in wireless sensor devices could be solved. Traditional energy-converting structures such as the cantilever-beam type or spring-mass type have the problem of high working frequency. In this work, an eccentric pendulum-based electromagnetic vibration energy harvester is designed, analyzed, and verified with the finite element analysis method. The pendulum that contains alternative distributed magnets in the outer side works as a rotor and has the advantages of a simple structure and low center frequency. The structure size is well scalable, and the optimal output performance can be obtained by optimizing the coil thickness and width for a given diameter of the energy harvester. The simulation results show that the energy harvester could work in ultra-low frequencies of 0.2–3.0 Hz. A full-scale prototype of the energy harvester is manufactured and tested. The center working frequency is 2.0 Hz with an average output power of 8.37 mW, which has potential for application in driving low-power wireless sensor nodes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fundamental Study of Decellularization Method Using Cyclic Application of High Hydrostatic Pressure
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111008 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Decellularized tissues are promising materials that mainly consist of extracellular matrices (ECMs) obtained by removing all cells from organs and tissues. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) has been used for decellularization to remove cells physically from organs or tissues rather than by chemical methods. [...] Read more.
Decellularized tissues are promising materials that mainly consist of extracellular matrices (ECMs) obtained by removing all cells from organs and tissues. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) has been used for decellularization to remove cells physically from organs or tissues rather than by chemical methods. However, ultrahigh pressure induces denaturation of the ECM structure. In this study, we examined the effects of cyclic HHP at low and high pressures on the cell membrane structure to establish a novel decellularization method that enables decellularization without the denaturation of the ECM. A decellularization device using cyclic HHP (maximum pressure: 250 MPa, cycle number: 5) was developed. NB1RGB cell suspension was injected into a plastic bag to be subjected to cyclic HHP. After applying cyclic HHP, the amount of DNA inside the cells and the morphological changes of the cells were evaluated. As a result, the amount of DNA inside the cells decreased after the cyclic HHP compared to the static HHP. In addition, cyclic HHP was suggested to promote the destruction of the cell and nuclear membrane. In conclusion, it was revealed that the cell structure could be denatured and destroyed by cyclic HHP at a lower level than that of previous approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section B:Biology and Biomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
DoE Analysis of Approaches for Hydrogel Microbeads’ Preparation by Millifluidic Methods
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111007 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Hydrogel microbeads hold great promise for immune-protective cell transplants and in vitro studies. Millifluidic generation of hydrogel microbeads is a highly efficient and reproducible approach enabling a mass production. This paper illustrates the preparation and characterization of highly controlled and reproducible microbeads made [...] Read more.
Hydrogel microbeads hold great promise for immune-protective cell transplants and in vitro studies. Millifluidic generation of hydrogel microbeads is a highly efficient and reproducible approach enabling a mass production. This paper illustrates the preparation and characterization of highly controlled and reproducible microbeads made by different types of hydrogel using millifluidic approaches. The optimization of the process was made by a design of experiments (DoE) approach. The microbeads’ large-scale production can be potentially used for single cells or clusters encapsulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
Modification of Higher Alkanes by Nanoparticles to Control Light Propagation in Tapered Fibers
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111006 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 354
Abstract
This study presents the doping of higher alkanes, namely, pentadecane (C15) and hexadecane (C16), with ZnS:Mn nanoparticles to create new types of in-line optical fiber sensors with unique optical properties. In this research, the phenomenon of light beam leakage out of the taper [...] Read more.
This study presents the doping of higher alkanes, namely, pentadecane (C15) and hexadecane (C16), with ZnS:Mn nanoparticles to create new types of in-line optical fiber sensors with unique optical properties. In this research, the phenomenon of light beam leakage out of the taper and its interaction with the surrounding materials is described. The fabricated new materials are used as cladding in a tapered optical fiber to make it possible to control the optical light beam. The manufactured sensor shows high sensitivity and fast response to the change in the applied materials. Results are presented for a wide optical range of 1200–1700 nm with the use of a supercontinuum source and an optical spectrum analyzer, as well as for a single wavelength of 800 nm, corresponding to the highest transmitted power. The results present a change in the optical property dependence on the temperature in the cooling and heating process. For all materials, the measurements in a climatic chamber are provided between 0 and 40 °C, corresponding to the phase change of the alkanes from solid to liquid. The addition of nanoparticles to the volume of alkanes is equal to 1 wt%. To avoid a conglomeration of nanoparticles, the anti-agglomeration material, Brij 78 P, is used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Miniaturized Devices Based on Micro- and Nanofibers)
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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Micro/Nanofabrication for Retinal Implants
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111005 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
The retinal prosthetic community has witnessed tremendous technological advances during the last two decades since the emergence of pioneering work [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanofabrication for Retinal Implants)
Open AccessEditorial
Micro Elastofluidics: Elasticity and Flexibility for Efficient Microscale Liquid Handling
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111004 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Microfluidics is the science and technology around the behaviour of fluid and fluid flow at the microscale [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section B:Biology and Biomedicine)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Applications of CMOS Devices for the Diagnosis and Control of Infectious Diseases
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111003 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Emerging infectious diseases such as coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), Ebola, influenza A, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in recent years have threatened the health and security of the global community as one of the greatest factors [...] Read more.
Emerging infectious diseases such as coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), Ebola, influenza A, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in recent years have threatened the health and security of the global community as one of the greatest factors of mortality in the world. Accurate and immediate diagnosis of infectious agents and symptoms is a key to control the outbreak of these diseases. Rapid advances in complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology offers great advantages like high accuracy, high throughput and rapid measurements in biomedical research and disease diagnosis. These features as well as low cost, low power and scalability of CMOS technology can pave the way for the development of powerful devices such as point-of-care (PoC) systems, lab-on-chip (LoC) platforms and symptom screening devices for accurate and timely diagnosis of infectious diseases. This paper is an overview of different CMOS-based devices such as optical, electrochemical, magnetic and mechanical sensors developed by researchers to mitigate the problems associated with these diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biologically Inspired Sensor and Actuator (BioSA) Platforms)
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Open AccessArticle
The Optimal Processing Parameters of Radial Ultrasonic Rolling Electrochemical Micromachining—RSM Approach
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111002 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Radial ultrasonic rolling electrochemical micromachining (RUR-EMM) is a new method of electrochemical machining (ECM). By feeding small and rotating electrodes aided by ultrasonic rolling, an array of pits can be manufactured, which is called microstructures. However, there still exists the problem of choosing [...] Read more.
Radial ultrasonic rolling electrochemical micromachining (RUR-EMM) is a new method of electrochemical machining (ECM). By feeding small and rotating electrodes aided by ultrasonic rolling, an array of pits can be manufactured, which is called microstructures. However, there still exists the problem of choosing the optimal machining parameters to realize the workpiece machining with high quality and high efficiency. In the present study, response surface methodology (RSM) was proposed to optimize the machining parameters. Firstly, the performance criteria of the RUR-EMM are measured through investigating the effect of working parameters, such as applied voltage, electrode rotation speed, pulse frequency and interelectrode gap (IEG), on material removal amount (MRA) and surface roughness (Ra). Then, the experimental results are statistically analyzed and modeled through RSM. The regression model adequacies are checked using the analysis of variance. Furthermore, the optimal combination of these parameters has been evaluated and verified by experiment to maximize MRA and minimize Ra. The results show that each parameter has a similar and non-linear influence on the MRA and Ra. Specifically, with the increase of each parameter, MRA increases first and decreases when the parameters reach a certain value. On the contrary, Ra decreases first and then increases. Under the combined effect of these parameters, the productivity is improved. The experimental value of MRA and Ra is 0.06006 mm2 and 51.1 nm, which were 0.8% and 2.4% different from the predicted values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Temperature and Humidity PID Controller for a Bioprinter Atmospheric Enclosure System
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11110999 - 12 Nov 2020
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Bioprinting is a complex process, highly dependent on bioink properties (materials and cells) and environmental conditions (mainly temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration) during the bioprinting process. To guarantee proper cellular viability and an accurate geometry, it is mandatory to control all these [...] Read more.
Bioprinting is a complex process, highly dependent on bioink properties (materials and cells) and environmental conditions (mainly temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration) during the bioprinting process. To guarantee proper cellular viability and an accurate geometry, it is mandatory to control all these factors. Despite internal factors, such as printing pressures, temperatures or speeds, being well-controlled in actual bioprinters, there is a lack in the controlling of external parameters, such as room temperature or humidity. In this sense, the objective of this work is to control the temperature and humidity of a new, atmospheric enclosure system for bioprinting. The control has been carried out with a decoupled proportional integral derivative (PID) controller that was designed, simulated and experimentally tested in order to ensure the proper operation of all its components. Finally, the PID controller can stabilize the atmospheric enclosure system temperature in 311 s and the humidity in 65 s, with an average error of 1.89% and 1.30%, respectively. In this sense, the proposed atmospheric enclosure system can reach and maintain the proper temperature and humidity values during post-printing and provide a pre-incubation environment that promotes stability, integrity and cell viability of the 3D bioprinted structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofabrication and 3D Bioprinting)
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Open AccessArticle
A Low Spring Constant Piezoresistive Microcantilever for Biological Reagent Detection
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111001 - 12 Nov 2020
Viewed by 373
Abstract
This paper introduces a piezoresistive microcantilever with a low spring constant. The microcantilever was fabricated with titanium (Ti) as the piezoresistor, a low spring constant polyimide (PI) layer, and a thin silicon oxide (SiO2) layer as the top and bottom passive [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a piezoresistive microcantilever with a low spring constant. The microcantilever was fabricated with titanium (Ti) as the piezoresistor, a low spring constant polyimide (PI) layer, and a thin silicon oxide (SiO2) layer as the top and bottom passive layers, respectively. Excellent mechanical performances with the spring constant of 0.02128 N/m and the deflection sensitivity (V/V)/z of 1.03 × 10−7 nm−1 were obtained. The output voltage fluctuation of a Wheatstone bridge, which consists of four piezoresistive microcantilevers, is less than 3 μ[email protected] V in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) environment. A microcantilever aptasensor was then developed through functionalizing the microcantilevers with a ricin aptamer probe, and detections on ricin with concentrations of 10, 20, 50 and 100 ng/mL were successfully realized. A good specificity was also confirmed by using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a blank control. The experiment results show that the Ti and PI-based microcantilever has great prospects for ultrasensitive biochemical molecule detections with high reliability and specificity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS and Microfluidic Devices for Analytical Chemistry and Biosensing)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Pressure Characterization of CNT-Graphene Composite Material
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11111000 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 362
Abstract
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene are extensively studied materials in the field of sensing technology and other electronic devices due to their better functional and structural properties. Additionally, more attention is given to utilize these materials as a filler to reinforce the properties [...] Read more.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene are extensively studied materials in the field of sensing technology and other electronic devices due to their better functional and structural properties. Additionally, more attention is given to utilize these materials as a filler to reinforce the properties of other materials. However, the role of weight percentage of CNTs in the piezoresistive properties of these materials has not been reported yet. In this work, CNT-graphene composite-based piezoresistive pressure samples in the form of pellets with different weight percentages of CNTs were fabricated and characterized. All the samples exhibit a decrease in the direct current (DC) resistance with the increase in external uniaxial applied pressure from 0 to 74.8 kNm−2. However, under the same external uniaxial applied pressure, the DC resistance exhibit more decrease as the weight percentage of the CNTs increase in the composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Microsystems for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
Particle Focusing under Newtonian and Viscoelastic Flow in a Straight Rhombic Microchannel
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11110998 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Particle behavior in viscoelastic fluids has attracted considerable attention in recent years. In viscoelastic fluids, as opposed to Newtonian fluids, particle focusing can be simply realized in a microchannel without any external forces or complex structures. In this study, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel [...] Read more.
Particle behavior in viscoelastic fluids has attracted considerable attention in recent years. In viscoelastic fluids, as opposed to Newtonian fluids, particle focusing can be simply realized in a microchannel without any external forces or complex structures. In this study, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel with a rhombic cross-sectional shape was fabricated to experimentally investigate the behavior of inertial and elasto-inertial particles. Particle migration and behavior in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids were compared with respect to the flow rate and particle size to investigate their effect on the particle focusing position and focusing width. The PDMS rhombic microchannel was fabricated using basic microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) processes. The experimental results showed that single-line particle focusing was formed along the centerline of the microchannel in the non-Newtonian fluid, unlike the double-line particle focusing in the Newtonian fluid over a wide range of flow rates. Numerical simulation using the same flow conditions as in the experiments revealed that the particles suspended in the channel tend to drift toward the center of the channel owing to the negative net force throughout the cross-sectional area. This supports the experimental observation that the viscoelastic fluid in the rhombic microchannel significantly influences particle migration toward the channel center without any external force owing to coupling between the inertia and elasticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing for Microsystems)
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Open AccessReview
Bessel Beam: Significance and Applications—A Progressive Review
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11110997 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 679
Abstract
Diffraction is a phenomenon related to the wave nature of light and arises when a propagating wave comes across an obstacle. Consequently, the wave can be transformed in amplitude or phase and diffraction occurs. Those parts of the wavefront avoiding an obstacle form [...] Read more.
Diffraction is a phenomenon related to the wave nature of light and arises when a propagating wave comes across an obstacle. Consequently, the wave can be transformed in amplitude or phase and diffraction occurs. Those parts of the wavefront avoiding an obstacle form a diffraction pattern after interfering with each other. In this review paper, we have discussed the topic of non-diffractive beams, explicitly Bessel beams. Such beams provide some resistance to diffraction and hence are hypothetically a phenomenal alternate to Gaussian beams in several circumstances. Several outstanding applications are coined to Bessel beams and have been employed in commercial applications. We have discussed several hot applications based on these magnificent beams such as optical trapping, material processing, free-space long-distance self-healing beams, optical coherence tomography, superresolution, sharp focusing, polarization transformation, increased depth of focus, birefringence detection based on astigmatic transformed BB and encryption in optical communication. According to our knowledge, each topic presented in this review is justifiably explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Diffractive Beams for the State of the Art Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Algorithm for Routing Paths Selection in Mesh-Based Optical Networks-on-Chips
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11110996 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 573
Abstract
Optical networks-on-chips (ONoCs) is an effective and extensible on-chip communication technology, which has the characteristics of high bandwidth, low consumption, and low delay. In the design process of ONoCs, power loss is an important factor for limiting the scalability of ONoCs. Additionally, the [...] Read more.
Optical networks-on-chips (ONoCs) is an effective and extensible on-chip communication technology, which has the characteristics of high bandwidth, low consumption, and low delay. In the design process of ONoCs, power loss is an important factor for limiting the scalability of ONoCs. Additionally, the optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) is an index to measure the quality of ONoCs. Nowadays, the routing algorithm commonly used in ONoCs is the dimension-order routing algorithm, but the routing paths selected by the algorithm have high power loss and crosstalk noise. In this paper, we propose a 5×5 all-pass optical router model for two-dimensional (2-D) mesh-based ONoCs. Based on the general optical router model and the calculation models of power loss and crosstalk noise, a novel algorithm is proposed in ordder to select the routing paths with the minimum power loss. At the same time, it can ensure that the routing paths have the approximately optimal OSNR. Finally, we employ the Cygnus optical router to verify the proposed routing algorithm. The results show that the algorithm can effectively reduce the power loss and improve the OSNR in the case of network sizes of 5×5 and 6×6. With the increase of the optical network scale, the algorithm can perform better in reducing the power loss and raising the OSNR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Advanced Top-Down Fabrication for a Fused Silica Nanofluidic Device
Micromachines 2020, 11(11), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11110995 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Nanofluidics have recently attracted significant attention with regard to the development of new functionalities and applications, and producing new functional devices utilizing nanofluidics will require the fabrication of nanochannels. Fused silica nanofluidic devices fabricated by top-down methods are a promising approach to realizing [...] Read more.
Nanofluidics have recently attracted significant attention with regard to the development of new functionalities and applications, and producing new functional devices utilizing nanofluidics will require the fabrication of nanochannels. Fused silica nanofluidic devices fabricated by top-down methods are a promising approach to realizing this goal. Our group previously demonstrated the analysis of a living single cell using such a device, incorporating nanochannels having different sizes (102–103 nm) and with branched and confluent structures and surface patterning. However, fabrication of geometrically-controlled nanochannels on the 101 nm size scale by top-down methods on a fused silica substrate, and the fabrication of micro-nano interfaces on a single substrate, remain challenging. In the present study, the smallest-ever square nanochannels (with a size of 50 nm) were fabricated on fused silica substrates by optimizing the electron beam exposure time, and the absence of channel breaks was confirmed by streaming current measurements. In addition, micro-nano interfaces between 103 nm nanochannels and 101 μm microchannels were fabricated on a single substrate by controlling the hydrophobicity of the nanochannel surfaces. A micro-nano interface for a single cell analysis device, in which a nanochannel was connected to a 101 μm single cell chamber, was also fabricated. These new fabrication procedures are expected to advance the basic technologies employed in the field of nanofluidics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nanofluidics)
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