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17.04.2017 | Technical Paper | Ausgabe 12/2017 Open Access

Microsystem Technologies 12/2017

Development of a multi frequency impedance measurement system for use in MEMS flow cytometers

Microsystem Technologies > Ausgabe 12/2017
Neil J. Cole, Andrew M. Richardson, Alako Abdul-Hafiz


A novel MEMS based system for flow cytometry is presented based on a multispectral approach. The solution provides the ability to concurrently generate, detect and analyse the response from a biological cell using multiple narrow band signals with a frequency separation sufficient to evoke different cellular responses. The narrow band approach limits the energy required and provides an improved signal to noise ratio for a given transmitter energy, avoiding wide band signal power dissipation and dilution issues. It requires only a single transmitter and receiver interface to the MEMS device with no duplication of analogue signal paths. The design has the ability to generate a complex multi frequency waveform with a wide frequency separation. A digital approach based on the CORDIC algorithm (Volder, IRE Trans Electron Comput EC-8:330–334, 1959) was used to generate the required sinusoidal waveforms. The digital section of the design was implemented on an FPGA. It utilised a modified digital phase sensitive amplifier to provide enhanced signal to noise performance and harmonic rejection. A novel hybrid, cross channel electrode structure to implement the stimulus and response analysis sub-system has been designed. A fully functional macroscopic test bench has been constructed to demonstrate the viability of the approach. Both physical measurements and finite element data has been used to demonstrate the potential for migration into a MEMS based system.

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