In this work, the dielectrophoretic force (F(DEP)) response of Aluminium Microelectrode Arrays with tapered profile is investigated through experimental measurements and numerical simulations. A standard CMOS processing technique with a step for the formation of a tapered profile resist is implemented in the fabrication of Tapered Aluminium Microelectrode Arrays (TAMA). The F(DEP) is investigated through analysis of the Clausius-Mossotti factor (CMF) and cross-over frequency (f(xo)). The performance of TAMA with various side wall angles is compared to that of microelectrodes with a straight cut sidewall profile over a wide range of frequencies through FEM numerical simulations. Additionally, electric field measurement (EFM) is performed through scanning probe microscopy (SPM) in order to obtain the region of force focus in both platforms. Results showed that the tapered profile microelectrodes with angles between 60° and 70° produce the highest electric field gradient on the particles. Also, the region of the strongest electric field in TAMA is located at the bottom and top edge of microelectrode while the strongest electric field in microelectrodes with straight cut profile is found at the top corner of the microelectrode. The latter property of microelectrodes improves the probability of capturing/repelling the particles at the microelectrode's side wall.
Detection of nuclear radiation such as alpha particles has become an important field of research in recent history due to nuclear threats and accidents. In this context; deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) acting as an organic semiconducting material could be utilized in a metal/semiconductor Schottky junction for detecting alpha particles. In this work we demonstrate for the first time the effect of alpha irradiation on an Al/DNA/p-Si/Al Schottky diode by investigating its current-voltage characteristics. The diodes were exposed for different periods (0-20 min) of irradiation. Various diode parameters such as ideality factor, barrier height, series resistance, Richardson constant and saturation current were then determined using conventional, Cheung and Cheung's and Norde methods. Generally, ideality factor or n values were observed to be greater than unity, which indicates the influence of some other current transport mechanism besides thermionic processes. Results indicated ideality factor variation between 9.97 and 9.57 for irradiation times between the ranges 0 to 20 min. Increase in the series resistance with increase in irradiation time was also observed when calculated using conventional and Cheung and Cheung's methods. These responses demonstrate that changes in the electrical characteristics of the metal-semiconductor-metal diode could be further utilized as sensing elements to detect alpha particles.
In this paper, we propose an energy-efficient transmission technique known as the sleep/wake algorithm for a bicycle torque sensor node. This paper aims to highlight the trade-off between energy efficiency and the communication range between the cyclist and coach. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment utilised the Zigbee protocol (XBee S2), and the second experiment used the Advanced and Adaptive Network Technology (ANT) protocol based on the Nordic nRF24L01 radio transceiver chip. The current consumption of ANT was measured, simulated and compared with a torque sensor node that uses the XBee S2 protocol. In addition, an analytical model was derived to correlate the sensor node average current consumption with a crank arm cadence. The sensor node achieved 98% power savings for ANT relative to ZigBee when they were compared alone, and the power savings amounted to 30% when all components of the sensor node are considered. The achievable communication range was 65 and 50 m for ZigBee and ANT, respectively, during measurement on an outdoor cycling track (i.e., velodrome). The conclusions indicate that the ANT protocol is more suitable for use in a torque sensor node when power consumption is a crucial demand, whereas the ZigBee protocol is more convenient in ensuring data communication between cyclist and coach.
Ethanol is a highly combustible chemical universally designed for biomedical applications. In this paper, optical sensing performance of tapered multimode fiber tip coated with carbon nanotube (CNT) thin film towards aqueous ethanol with different concentrations is investigated. The tapered optical multimode fiber tip is coated with CNT using drop-casting technique and is annealed at 70 °C to enhance the binding of the nanomaterial to the silica fiber tip. The optical fiber tip and the CNT sensing layer are micro-characterized using FESEM and Raman spectroscopy techniques. When the developed sensor was exposed to different concentrations of ethanol (5% to 80%), the sensor reflectance reduced proportionally. The developed sensors showed high sensitivity, repeatability and fast responses (<55 s) towards ethanol.
In this paper, we propose an easy-to-implement passive liquid valve (PLV) for the microfluidic compact-disc (CD). This valve can be implemented by introducing venting chambers to control the air flow of the source and destination chambers. The PLV mechanism is based on equalizing the main forces acting on the microfluidic CD (i.e., the centrifugal and capillary forces) to control the burst frequency of the source chamber liquid. For a better understanding of the physics behind the proposed PLV, an analytical model is described. Moreover, three parameters that control the effectiveness of the proposed valve, i.e., the liquid height, liquid density, and venting chamber position with respect to the CD center, are tested experimentally. To demonstrate the ability of the proposed PLV valve, microfluidic liquid switching and liquid metering are performed. In addition, a Bradford assay is performed to measure the protein concentration and evaluated in comparison to the benchtop procedure. The result shows that the proposed valve can be implemented in any microfluidic process that requires simplicity and accuracy. Moreover, the developed valve increases the flexibility of the centrifugal CD platform for passive control of the liquid flow without the need for an external force or trigger.
The concept of optical antennas in physical optics is still evolving. Like the antennas used in the radio frequency (RF) regime, the aspiration of optical antennas is to localize the free propagating radiation energy, and vice versa. For this purpose, optical antennas utilize the distinctive properties of metal nanostructures, which are strong plasmonic coupling elements at the optical regime. The concept of optical antennas is being advanced technologically and they are projected to be substitute devices for detection in the millimeter, infrared, and visible regimes. At present, their potential benefits in light detection, which include polarization dependency, tunability, and quick response times have been successfully demonstrated. Optical antennas also can be seen as directionally responsive elements for point detectors. This review provides an overview of the historical background of the topic, along with the basic concepts and parameters of optical antennas. One of the major parts of this review covers the use of optical antennas in biosensing, presenting biosensing applications with a broad description using different types of data. We have also mentioned the basic challenges in the path of the universal use of optical biosensors, where we have also discussed some legal matters.
In recent years, many improvements have been made in foodborne pathogen detection methods to reduce the impact of food contamination. Several rapid methods have been developed with biosensor devices to improve the way of performing pathogen detection. This paper presents an automated endpoint detection system for amplicons generated by loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) on a microfluidic compact disk platform. The developed detection system utilizes a monochromatic ultraviolet (UV) emitter for excitation of fluorescent labeled LAMP amplicons and a color sensor to detect the emitted florescence from target. Then it processes the sensor output and displays the detection results on liquid crystal display (LCD). The sensitivity test has been performed with detection limit up to 2.5 × 10(-3) ng/µL with different DNA concentrations of Salmonella bacteria. This system allows a rapid and automatic endpoint detection which could lead to the development of a point-of-care diagnosis device for foodborne pathogens detection in a resource-limited environment.
The staggering growth in smartphone and wearable device use has led to a massive scale generation of personal (user-specific) data. To explore, analyze, and extract useful information and knowledge from the deluge of personal data, one has to leverage these devices as the data-mining platforms in ubiquitous, pervasive, and big data environments. This study presents the personal ecosystem where all computational resources, communication facilities, storage and knowledge management systems are available in user proximity. An extensive review on recent literature has been conducted and a detailed taxonomy is presented. The performance evaluation metrics and their empirical evidences are sorted out in this paper. Finally, we have highlighted some future research directions and potentially emerging application areas for personal data mining using smartphones and wearable devices.
We propose a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor based on photonic crystal fiber (PCF) with selectively filled analyte channels. Silver is used as the plasmonic material to accurately detect the analytes and is coated with a thin graphene layer to prevent oxidation. The liquid-filled cores are placed near to the metallic channel for easy excitation of free electrons to produce surface plasmon waves (SPWs). Surface plasmons along the metal surface are excited with a leaky Gaussian-like core guided mode. Numerical investigations of the fiber's properties and sensing performance are performed using the finite element method (FEM). The proposed sensor shows maximum amplitude sensitivity of 418 Refractive Index Units (RIU-1) with resolution as high as 2.4 × 10(-5) RIU. Using the wavelength interrogation method, a maximum refractive index (RI) sensitivity of 3000 nm/RIU in the sensing range of 1.46-1.49 is achieved. The proposed sensor is suitable for detecting various high RI chemicals, biochemical and organic chemical analytes. Additionally, the effects of fiber structural parameters on the properties of plasmonic excitation are investigated and optimized for sensing performance as well as reducing the sensor's footprint.
Monitoring indoor air quality (IAQ) is deemed important nowadays. A sophisticated IAQ monitoring system which could classify the source influencing the IAQ is definitely going to be very helpful to the users. Therefore, in this paper, an IAQ monitoring system has been proposed with a newly added feature which enables the system to identify the sources influencing the level of IAQ. In order to achieve this, the data collected has been trained with artificial neural network or ANN--a proven method for pattern recognition. Basically, the proposed system consists of sensor module cloud (SMC), base station and service-oriented client. The SMC contain collections of sensor modules that measure the air quality data and transmit the captured data to base station through wireless network. The IAQ monitoring system is also equipped with IAQ Index and thermal comfort index which could tell the users about the room's conditions. The results showed that the system is able to measure the level of air quality and successfully classify the sources influencing IAQ in various environments like ambient air, chemical presence, fragrance presence, foods and beverages and human activity.
This paper presents a negative index metamaterial incorporated UWB antenna with an integration of complementary SRR (split-ring resonator) and CLS (capacitive loaded strip) unit cells for microwave imaging sensor applications. This metamaterial UWB antenna sensor consists of four unit cells along one axis, where each unit cell incorporates a complementary SRR and CLS pair. This integration enables a design layout that allows both a negative value of permittivity and a negative value of permeability simultaneous, resulting in a durable negative index to enhance the antenna sensor performance for microwave imaging sensor applications. The proposed MTM antenna sensor was designed and fabricated on an FR4 substrate having a thickness of 1.6 mm and a dielectric constant of 4.6. The electrical dimensions of this antenna sensor are 0.20 λ × 0.29 λ at a lower frequency of 3.1 GHz. This antenna sensor achieves a 131.5% bandwidth (VSWR < 2) covering the frequency bands from 3.1 GHz to more than 15 GHz with a maximum gain of 6.57 dBi. High fidelity factor and gain, smooth surface-current distribution and nearly omni-directional radiation patterns with low cross-polarization confirm that the proposed negative index UWB antenna is a promising entrant in the field of microwave imaging sensors.
Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is leading to a new paradigm of Internet of Everything (IoE). WSNs have a wide range of applications but are usually deployed in a particular application. However, the future of WSNs lies in the aggregation and allocation of resources, serving diverse applications. WSN virtualization by the middleware is an emerging concept that enables aggregation of multiple independent heterogeneous devices, networks, radios and software platforms; and enhancing application development. WSN virtualization, middleware can further be categorized into sensor virtualization and network virtualization. Middleware for WSN virtualization poses several challenges like efficient decoupling of networks, devices and software. In this paper efforts have been put forward to bring an overview of the previous and current middleware designs for WSN virtualization, the design goals, software architectures, abstracted services, testbeds and programming techniques. Furthermore, the paper also presents the proposed model, challenges and future opportunities for further research in the middleware designs for WSN virtualization.
With the development of communication technologies, the use of wireless systems in biomedical implanted devices has become very useful. Bio-implantable devices are electronic devices which are used for treatment and monitoring brain implants, pacemakers, cochlear implants, retinal implants and so on. The inductive coupling link is used to transmit power and data between the primary and secondary sides of the biomedical implanted system, in which efficient power amplifier is very much needed to ensure the best data transmission rates and low power losses. However, the efficiency of the implanted devices depends on the circuit design, controller, load variation, changes of radio frequency coil's mutual displacement and coupling coefficients. This paper provides a comprehensive survey on various power amplifier classes and their characteristics, efficiency and controller techniques that have been used in bio-implants. The automatic frequency controller used in biomedical implants such as gate drive switching control, closed loop power control, voltage controlled oscillator, capacitor control and microcontroller frequency control have been explained. Most of these techniques keep the resonance frequency stable in transcutaneous power transfer between the external coil and the coil implanted inside the body. Detailed information including carrier frequency, power efficiency, coils displacement, power consumption, supplied voltage and CMOS chip for the controllers techniques are investigated and summarized in the provided tables. From the rigorous review, it is observed that the existing automatic frequency controller technologies are more or less can capable of performing well in the implant devices; however, the systems are still not up to the mark. Accordingly, current challenges and problems of the typical automatic frequency controller techniques for power amplifiers are illustrated, with a brief suggestions and discussion section concerning the progress of implanted device research in the future. This review will hopefully lead to increasing efforts towards the development of low powered, highly efficient, high data rate and reliable automatic frequency controllers for implanted devices.
This paper presents a performance analysis of two open-source, laser scanner-based Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) techniques (i.e., Gmapping and Hector SLAM) using a Microsoft Kinect to replace the laser sensor. Furthermore, the paper proposes a new system integration approach whereby a Linux virtual machine is used to run the open source SLAM algorithms. The experiments were conducted in two different environments; a small room with no features and a typical office corridor with desks and chairs. Using the data logged from real-time experiments, each SLAM technique was simulated and tested with different parameter settings. The results show that the system is able to achieve real time SLAM operation. The system implementation offers a simple and reliable way to compare the performance of Windows-based SLAM algorithm with the algorithms typically implemented in a Robot Operating System (ROS). The results also indicate that certain modifications to the default laser scanner-based parameters are able to improve the map accuracy. However, the limited field of view and range of Kinect's depth sensor often causes the map to be inaccurate, especially in featureless areas, therefore the Kinect sensor is not a direct replacement for a laser scanner, but rather offers a feasible alternative for 2D SLAM tasks.
In this article a luminescence fiber optic biosensor for the microdetection of heavy metal toxicity in waters based on the marine bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri (A. fischeri) encapsulated in alginate microspheres is described. Cu(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), Zn(II), Cr(VI), Co(II), Ni(II), Ag(I) and Fe(II) were selected as sample toxic heavy metal ions for evaluation of the performance of this toxicity microbiosensor. The loss of bioluminescence response from immobilized A. fischeri bacterial cells corresponds to changes in the toxicity levels. The inhibition of the luminescent biosensor response collected at excitation and emission wavelengths of 287 ± 2 nm and 487 ± 2 nm, respectively, was found to be reproducible and repeatable within the relative standard deviation (RSD) range of 2.4-5.7% (n = 8). The toxicity biosensor based on alginate micropsheres exhibited a lower limit of detection (LOD) for Cu(II) (6.40 μg/L), Cd(II) (1.56 μg/L), Pb(II) (47 μg/L), Ag(I) (18 μg/L) than Zn(II) (320 μg/L), Cr(VI) (1,000 μg/L), Co(II) (1700 μg/L), Ni(II) (2800 μg/L), and Fe(III) (3100 μg/L). Such LOD values are lower when compared with other previous reported whole cell toxicity biosensors using agar gel, agarose gel and cellulose membrane biomatrices used for the immobilization of bacterial cells. The A. fischeri bacteria microencapsulated in alginate biopolymer could maintain their metabolic activity for a prolonged period of up to six weeks without any noticeable changes in the bioluminescence response. The bioluminescent biosensor could also be used for the determination of antagonistic toxicity levels for toxicant mixtures. A comparison of the results obtained by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and using the proposed luminescent A. fischeri-based biosensor suggests that the optical toxicity biosensor can be used for quantitative microdetermination of heavy metal toxicity in environmental water samples.
Geographic routing is one of the most investigated themes by researchers for reliable and efficient dissemination of information in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs). Recently, different Geographic Distance Routing (GEDIR) protocols have been suggested in the literature. These protocols focus on reducing the forwarding region towards destination to select the Next Hop Vehicles (NHV). Most of these protocols suffer from the problem of elevated one-hop link disconnection, high end-to-end delay and low throughput even at normal vehicle speed in high vehicle density environment. This paper proposes a Geographic Distance Routing protocol based on Segment vehicle, Link quality and Degree of connectivity (SLD-GEDIR). The protocol selects a reliable NHV using the criteria segment vehicles, one-hop link quality and degree of connectivity. The proposed protocol has been simulated in NS-2 and its performance has been compared with the state-of-the-art protocols: P-GEDIR, J-GEDIR and V-GEDIR. The empirical results clearly reveal that SLD-GEDIR has lower link disconnection and end-to-end delay, and higher throughput as compared to the state-of-the-art protocols. It should be noted that the performance of the proposed protocol is preserved irrespective of vehicle density and speed.
Biosensors fabricated with whole-cell bacteria appear to be suitable for detecting bioavailability and toxicity effects of the chemical(s) of concern, but they are usually reported to have drawbacks like long response times (ranging from hours to days), narrow dynamic range and instability during long term storage. Our aim is to fabricate a sensitive whole-cell oxidative stress biosensor which has improved properties that address the mentioned weaknesses. In this paper, we report a novel high-throughput whole-cell biosensor fabricated by immobilizing roGFP2 expressing Escherichia coli cells in a k-carrageenan matrix, for the detection of oxidative stress challenged by metalloid compounds. The E. coli roGFP2 oxidative stress biosensor shows high sensitivity towards arsenite and selenite, with wide linear range and low detection limit (arsenite: 1.0 × 10(-3)-1.0 × 10(1) mg·L(-1), LOD: 2.0 × 10(-4) mg·L(-1); selenite: 1.0 × 10(-5)-1.0 × 10(2) mg·L(-1), LOD: 5.8 × 10(-6) mg·L(-1)), short response times (0-9 min), high stability and reproducibility. This research is expected to provide a new direction in performing high-throughput environmental toxicity screening with living bacterial cells which is capable of measuring the bioavailability and toxicity of environmental stressors in a friction of a second.
Alternative sensory systems for the development of prosthetic knees are being increasingly highlighted nowadays, due to the rapid advancements in the field of lower limb prosthetics. This study presents the use of piezoelectric bimorphs as in-socket sensors for transfemoral amputees. An Instron machine was used in the calibration procedure and the corresponding output data were further analyzed to determine the static and dynamic characteristics of the piezoelectric bimorph. The piezoelectric bimorph showed appropriate static operating range, repeatability, hysteresis, and frequency response for application in lower prosthesis, with a force range of 0-100 N. To further validate this finding, an experiment was conducted with a single transfemoral amputee subject to measure the stump/socket pressure using the piezoelectric bimorph embedded inside the socket. The results showed that a maximum interface pressure of about 27 kPa occurred at the anterior proximal site compared to the anterior distal and posterior sites, consistent with values published in other studies. This paper highlighted the capacity of piezoelectric bimorphs to perform as in-socket sensors for transfemoral amputees. However, further experiments are recommended to be conducted with different amputees with different socket types.
The research conducted in the last three decades has collectively demonstrated that the skeletal muscle performance can be alternatively assessed by mechanomyographic signal (MMG) parameters. Indices of muscle performance, not limited to force, power, work, endurance and the related physiological processes underlying muscle activities during contraction have been evaluated in the light of the signal features. As a non-stationary signal that reflects several distinctive patterns of muscle actions, the illustrations obtained from the literature support the reliability of MMG in the analysis of muscles under voluntary and stimulus evoked contractions. An appraisal of the standard practice including the measurement theories of the methods used to extract parameters of the signal is vital to the application of the signal during experimental and clinical practices, especially in areas where electromyograms are contraindicated or have limited application. As we highlight the underpinning technical guidelines and domains where each method is well-suited, the limitations of the methods are also presented to position the state of the art in MMG parameters extraction, thus providing the theoretical framework for improvement on the current practices to widen the opportunity for new insights and discoveries. Since the signal modality has not been widely deployed due partly to the limited information extractable from the signals when compared with other classical techniques used to assess muscle performance, this survey is particularly relevant to the projected future of MMG applications in the realm of musculoskeletal assessments and in the real time detection of muscle activity.
As the main exporter in the oil palm industry, the need to improve the quality of palm oil has become the main interest among all the palm oil millers in Malaysia. To produce good quality palm oil, it is important for the miller to harvest a good oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB). Conventionally, the main reference used by Malaysian harvesters is the manual grading standard published by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). A good oil palm FFB consists of all matured fruitlets, aged between 18 to 21 weeks of antheses (WAA). To expedite the harvesting process, it is crucial to implement an automated detection system for determining the maturity of the oil palm FFB. Various automated detection methods have been proposed by researchers in the field to replace the conventional method. In our preliminary study, a novel oil palm fruit sensor to detect the maturity of oil palm fruit bunch was proposed. The design of the proposed air coil sensor based on the inductive sensor was further investigated mainly in the context of the effect of coil diameter to improve its sensitivity. In this paper, the sensitivity of the inductive sensor was further examined with a dual flat-type shape of air coil. The dual air coils were tested on fifteen samples of fruitlet from two categories, namely ripe and unripe. Samples were tested within 20 Hz to 10 MHz while evaluations on both peaks were done separately before the gap between peaks was analyzed. A comparative analysis was conducted to investigate the improvement in sensitivity of the induction-based oil palm fruit sensor as compared to previous works. Results from the comparative study proved that the inductive sensor using a dual flat-type shape air coil has improved by up to 167%. This provides an indication in the improvement in the coil sensitivity of the palm oil fruit sensor based on the induction concept.