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Proceedings Paper

Heart cell contractions measured using a micromachined polysilicon force transducer
Author(s): Gisela Lin; Kristofer S. J. Pister; Kenneth P. Roos
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Paper Abstract

A microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) force transducer, with a volume less than one cubic millimeter, is being developed to measure forces generated by living, isolated cardiac muscle cells in order to resolve the complex mechanisms of muscle contraction. The force transducer consists of two movable clamps facing each other. Each clamp contains two vertical, parallel hinged polysilicon plates attached to a moveable shuttle, and the entire structure is suspended 2 micrometers above the substrate via support beams attached to the substrate at one end. Each end of a living rat heart cell is glued between a pair of vertical plates. Calcium is then introduced into the cell's nutrient bath and stimulates the cell to contract. Upon contraction the support beams bend, and the amount of deflection is translated to force via the known spring constant in the beams. Typcially the 70 micrometers long central portion of a 120 micrometers long cell will contract approximately 6-7 micrometers in full activating solution, resulting in forces up to 16 (mu) N. The average value obtained for Fmax per cross-sectional area was 21.8mN/mm2 which is comparable to the value found in other laboratories using standard transducer technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 1995
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2642, Micromachined Devices and Components, (15 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.221161
Show Author Affiliations
Gisela Lin, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
Kristofer S. J. Pister, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
Kenneth P. Roos, UCLA School of Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2642:
Micromachined Devices and Components
Ray M. Roop; Kevin H. Chau, Editor(s)

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