Arvind Sai Sarathi Vasan1, Ravi Doraiswami1, and Michael Pecht1,2
1Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
2Center for Prognostics and System Health Management, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Detection of biological entities at Point-of-Care (POC) requires highly sensitive BioMEMS sensors. Microcantilever (MC) based BioMEMS sensors are highly preferred to enable label-free detection of pathogens or biomarkers. The sensitivity of BioMEMS MC Sensors is affected by the choice of material used for fabrication. It has been proved by previous research that improvement in sensitivity can be achieved with the choice of materials having low Young’s Modulus. Materials like SU-8 which has low Young’s Modulus compared to silicon have been used to prove improvement in sensitivity of such sensors. In this paper, we present the fabrication, test and data evaluation of a novel bio-based (hydrocolloid)-epoxy polymer composite material with Young’s Modulus lower than SU-8. The Young’s Modulus of the developed material was found to be eight fold lower than SU-8 which allows for improved sensitivity. A qualitative analysis has been conducted on the material for its biocompatibility and material was found to be non-reactive to pathogens. Mathematical modeling of the BioMEMS MC sensor using mechanical properties of the material was carried out using MATLAB. From the data analysis we prove considerable improvement in sensitivity of the BioMEMS MC sensor.
Key words: BioMEMS, microcantilever (MC), sensitivity, Young’s Modulus.
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