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Proceedings Paper

Formation, encapsulation, and validation of membrane-based artificial hair cell sensors
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Paper Abstract

Hair cell structures are one of the most common forms of sensing elements found in nature. In nearly all vertebrates hair cells are used for auditory and vestibular sensing. In humans, approximately 16,000 auditory hair cells can be found in the cochlea of the ear. Each hair cell contains a stereocilia, which is the primary structure for sound transduction. This study looks to develop and characterize an artificial hair cell that resembles the stereocilia of the human ear. Recently our research group has shown that a single artificial hair cell can be formed in an open substrate using a single aqueous droplet and a hydrogel. In this study, air was blown across the hair and analyzed using spectral analysis. The results of this study provided the foundation for our current work toward an artificial hair cell that uses two aqueous droplets. In the current study a test fixture was created in order to consistently measure various properties of the encapsulated hair cell. The response of the hair cell was measured with an impulse input at various locations on the test fixture. A frequency response function was then created using the impulse input and the output of the sensor. It was found that the vibration of the hair was only detectable if the test fixture was struck at the correct location. By changing the physical parameters of the hair sensor, such as hair length, we were able to alter the response of the sensor. It was also found that the sensitivity of the sensor was reliant on the size of the lipid bilayer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8339, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012, 83390B (4 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915172
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin L. Garrison, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Stephen A. Sarles, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Donald J. Leo, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8339:
Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Editor(s)

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