Micromachines2015, 6(3), 396-408; doi:10.3390/mi6030396 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents a transdermal power transfer device for the application of implantable devices or systems. The device mainly consists of plug and socket. The power transfer process can be started after inserting the plug into the socket with an applied potential on the plug. In order to improve the maneuverability and reliability of device during power transfer process, the metal net with mesh structure were added as a part of the socket to serve as intermediate electrical connection layer. The socket was encapsulated by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with good biocompatibility and flexibility. Two stainless steel hollow needles placed in the same plane acted as the insertion part of the needle plug, and Parylene C thin films were deposited on needles to serve as insulation layers. At last, the properties of the transdermal power transfer device were tested. The average contact resistance between needle and metal mesh was 0.454 Ω after 50 random insertions, which showed good electrical connection. After NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries were recharged for 10 min with current up to 200 mA, the caused resistive heat was less than 0.6 °C, which also demonstrated the low charging temperature and was suitable for charging implantable devices.
Micromachines2015, 6(3), 390-395; doi:10.3390/mi6030390 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents a reflection-type phase shifter (RTPS) at W-band in a 0.13 µm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process. The RTPS is composed of a 90° hybrid coupler and two identical reflection loads. Lumped-distributed element transmission line is introduced in the 90° hybrid coupler to reduce the chip size. Series inductor-capacitor (LC) resonators are used as the reflective loads and parallel inductors are deployed to reduce insertion loss variation. By cascading two-stage RTPS, 90° phase shifting range and 10.5 dB insertion loss with 1 dB variations from 80 GHz to 90 GHz are achieved. An impressive 0.1 dB variation is obtained at 86 GHz.
Micromachines2015, 6(3), 375-389; doi:10.3390/mi6030375 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper proposes the design of a weighted-rotor energy harvester (WREH) in which the oscillation is caused by the periodic change of the tangential component of gravity, to harvest kinetic energy from a rotating wheel. When a WREH is designed with a suitable characteristic length, the rotor’s natural frequency changes according to the wheel rotation speed and the rotor oscillates at a wide angle and high angular velocity to generate a large amount of power. The magnetic disk is designed according to an optimized circular Halbach array. The optimized circular Halbach array magnetic disk provides the largest induced EMF for different sector-angle ratios for the same magnetic disk volume. This study examined the output voltage and power by considering the constant and accelerating plate-rotation speeds, respectively. This paper discusses the effects of the angular acceleration speed of a rotating wheel corresponding to the dynamic behaviors of a weighted rotor. The average output power is 399 to 535 microwatts at plate-rotation speeds from 300 to 500 rpm, enabling the WREH to be a suitable power source for a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Micromachines2015, 6(3), 364-374; doi:10.3390/mi6030364 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We developed a confined microfluidic cell culture system with a bottom plate made of a microscopic slide with planar platinum sensors for the measurement of acidification, oxygen consumption, and cell adhesion. The slides were commercial slides with indium tin oxide (ITO) plating or were prepared from platinum sputtering (100 nm) onto a 10-nm titanium adhesion layer. Direct processing of the sensor structures (approximately three minutes per chip) by an ultrashort pulse laser facilitated the production of the prototypes. pH-sensitive areas were produced by the sputtering of 60-nm Si3N4 through a simple mask made from a circuit board material. The system body and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) molding forms for the microfluidic structures were manufactured by micromilling using a printed circuit board (PCB) milling machine for circuit boards. The microfluidic structure was finally imprinted in PDMS. Our approach avoided the use of photolithographic techniques and enabled fast and cost-efficient prototyping of the systems. Alternatively, the direct production of metallic, ceramic or polymeric molding tools was tested. The use of ultrashort pulse lasers improved the precision of the structures and avoided any contact of the final structures with toxic chemicals and possible adverse effects for the cell culture in lab-on-a-chip systems.
Micromachines2015, 6(3), 347-363; doi:10.3390/mi6030347 - published 3 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Indoor positioning in a multi-floor environment by using a smartphone is considered in this paper. The positioning accuracy and robustness of WiFi fingerprinting-based positioning are limited due to the unexpected variation of WiFi measurements between floors. On this basis, we propose a novel smartphone-based integrated WiFi/MEMS positioning algorithm based on the robust extended Kalman filter (EKF). The proposed algorithm first relies on the gait detection approach and quaternion algorithm to estimate the velocity and heading angles of the target. Second, the velocity and heading angles, together with the results of WiFi fingerprinting-based positioning, are considered as the input of the robust EKF for the sake of conducting two-dimensional (2D) positioning. Third, the proposed algorithm calculates the height of the target by using the real-time recorded barometer and geographic data. Finally, the experimental results show that the proposed algorithm achieves the positioning accuracy with root mean square errors (RMSEs) less than 1 m in an actual multi-floor environment.
Micromachines2015, 6(3), 330-346; doi:10.3390/mi6030330 - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tissue engineering is viewed as a promising option for long-term repair of cartilage lesions, but current engineered cartilage constructs fail to match the mechanical properties of native tissue. The extracellular matrix of adult human articular cartilage contains highly organized collagen fibrils that enhance the mechanical properties of the tissue. Unlike articular cartilage, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) based tissue engineered cartilage constructs lack this oriented microstructure and therefore display much lower mechanical strength. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of biomolecular gradients and shear stress on MSCs undergoing chondrogenesis within a microfluidic device. Via poly(dimethyl siloxane) soft-lithography, microfluidic devices containing a gradient generator were created. Human MSCs were seeded within these chambers and exposed to flow-based transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) gradients. When the MSCs were both confluent and exposed to shear stress, the cells aligned along the flow direction. Exposure to TGF-β1 gradients led to chondrogenesis of MSCs, indicated by positive type II collagen staining. These results, together with a previous study that showed that aligned MSCs produce aligned collagen, suggest that oriented cartilage tissue structures with superior mechanical properties can be obtained by aligning MSCs along the flow direction and exposing MSCs to chondrogenic gradients.