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Integrated Microsystems for Wireless Sensing Applications


Mujeeb-U-Rahman, Muhammad (2014) Integrated Microsystems for Wireless Sensing Applications. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z98050MN.


Personal health monitoring is being considered the future of a sustainable health care system. Biosensing platforms are a very important component of this system. Real-time and accurate sensing is essential for the success of personal health care model. Currently, there are many efforts going on to make these sensors practical and more useful for such measurements. Implantable sensors are considered the most widely applicable and most reliable sensors for such accurate health monitoring applications. However, macroscopic (cm scale) size has proved to be a limiting factor for successful use of these systems for long time and in large numbers. This work is focused to resolve the issues related with miniaturizing these devices to a microscopic (mm scale) size scale which can minimize many practical difficulties associated with their larger counterparts currently.

To accomplish this goal of miniaturization while retaining or even improving on the necessary capabilities for such sensing platforms, an integrated approach is presented which focuses on system-level miniaturization using standard fabrication procedures. First, it is shown that a completely integrated and wireless system is the best solution to achieve desired miniaturization without sacrificing the functionality of the system. Hence, design and implementation of the different components comprising the complete system needs to be done according to the requirements of the overall integrated system. This leads to the need of on-chip functional sensors, integrated wireless power supply, integrated wireless communication and integrated control system for realization of such system. In this work, different options for implementation of each of these subsystems are compared and an optimal solution is presented for each subsystem. For such complex systems, it is imperative to use a standard fabrication process which can provide the required functionality for all subsystems at smallest possible size scale. Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process is the most appropriate of the technologies in this regard and has enabled incredible miniaturization of the computing industry. It also provides options for designing different subsystems on the same platform in a monolithic process with very high yield. This choice then leads to actual designs of subsystems in the CMOS technology using different possible methods. Careful comparison of these subsystems provides insights into different design adjustments that are made until the desired functions are achieved at the desired size scale. Integration of all these compatible subsystems in the same platform is shown to provide the smallest possible sensing platform to date.

The completely wireless system can measure a host of different important analyte and can transmit the data to an external device which can use it for appropriate purpose. Results on measurements in phosphate buffer solution, blood serum and whole blood along with wireless communication in real biological tissues are provided. Specific examples of glucose and DNA sensors are presented and the use for many other relevant applications is also proposed. Finally, insights into animal model studies and future directions of the research are discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Implantable Electrochemical Wireless Sensor
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Awards:Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Nanotechnology or Related Fields, 2014
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Scherer, Axel
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Thesis Committee:
  • Scherer, Axel (chair)
  • Fraser, Scott E.
  • Choo, Hyuck
  • Rutledge, David B.
  • Weinreb, Sander
  • Tombrello, Thomas A.
Defense Date:5 March 2014
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06062014-160929992
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8497
Deposited By: Muhammad Mujeeb-U-Rahman
Deposited On:06 Mar 2017 22:47
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:05

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