This research investigation is producing a novel bio-sensing system (BioMEMS) for real time detection of cell behaviour during cell culture and growth processes. The concept is a micro-scale version of the distributive approach to tactile sensing. The approach has been applied extensively at the large scale of the body, however at this small scale there are a number of practical and algorithm based differences.
Driven by the rapid development of MEMS technologies, design and rapid manufacture of ultra-sensitive and economical biosensors for cell detection, clinical pathology and pharmacological analysis becomes possible. Micro-machined cantilevers enable clinicians to make such measurements, however their 1D structure is fragile and expensive to produce.
In this research 2D detection structures that will provide real time spatial distributive information relating to cells and cellular system characteristics, behaviour and structure are under investigation.
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The design of this system consists of a micromachined
silicon plate with strategically located actuators and sensors that take into account the dynamics and sound radiation of the plate at the micro-scale in a fluid environment. Nonlinear system identification methods are being developed to discriminate size, shape, position and spatial mass contact distributions over the surface.