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Proceedings Paper

Front-end electronics for impedimetric microfluidic devices
Author(s): Jaan Ojarand; Athanasios T. Giannitsis; Mart Min; Raul Land
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Paper Abstract

Impedance spectroscopy is a common approach in assessing passive electrical properties of biological matter, however, serious problems appear in microfluidic devices in connection with distortion free signal acquisition from microelectrodes. The quality of impedance measurements highly depends on the presence of stray capacitances, signal distortions, and accompanying noises. Measurement deficiencies may be minimized with optimized electronics and sensing electrodes. The quality can further be improved with appropriate selection of measuring signals and also with selection of measuring methods such as a choice between current or voltage sources and between differential or singleended techniques. The microfluidic device that we present here incorporates an impedance sensor, which consists of an array of two sequential pairs of parallel microelectrodes, embedded in a microfluidic channel. All electronics and fluidic components are placed inside a metal holder, which ensures electric and fluidic connections to peripheral instruments. This configuration provides short electric connections and proper shielding. The method that we are using to evaluate the sample's impedance is the differential measurement technique, capable of suppressing the common mode signals and interferences, appearing in the signal-conditioning front-end circuit. Besides, it opens the possibility for compensating stray effects of the electrodes. For excitation we employ wideband signals, such as chirps or multifreqyency signals, which allow fast measurements, essential in the most impedimetric experiments in biology. The impedance spectra cover the frequency range between 10kHz - 10MHz. This is essential for accessing information relating to β-dispersion, which characterizes the cell's structural properties. We present two measurement schemes: (i) an in-phase differential method, which employs two transimpedance amplifiers, and (ii) an anti-phase method, which uses one transimpedance amplifier. In this study we analyze and compare the sensitivity, signal-to-noise-ratio, and operational bandwidths of these two methods against other commonly used related circuits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2011
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8068, Bioelectronics, Biomedical, and Bioinspired Systems V; and Nanotechnology V, 80680R (3 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886553
Show Author Affiliations
Jaan Ojarand, ELIKO (Estonia)
Tallinn Univ. of Technology (Estonia)
Athanasios T. Giannitsis, Tallinn Univ. of Technology (Estonia)
Mart Min, Tallinn Univ. of Technology (Estonia)
Raul Land, Tallinn Univ. of Technology (Estonia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8068:
Bioelectronics, Biomedical, and Bioinspired Systems V; and Nanotechnology V
Ángel B. Rodríguez-Vázquez; Rainer Adelung, Editor(s)

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