, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 1005-1015
Date: 03 Nov 2012

MEMS tri-axial force sensor with an integrated mechanical stopper for guidewire applications

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This paper describes the design and characterization of a micro-electro-mechanical systems tri-axial force sensor that can be mounted on the tip of an 1-French guidewire (0.014″). Piezoresistive silicon nanowires (SiNWs) are embedded into four beams forming a cross-shape to allow the detection of forces in three axes. The electrical resistance changes in the four SiNWs are used to decode arbitrary force applied onto the force sensor. Finite element analysis was used in the structural design of the force sensor. Robustness of the force sensor is improved due to the novel design of incorporating a mechanical stopper on the tip of the stylus. Flip chip bonding, using gold stud bumps, is used to mount the force sensor on a substrate for characterization and to simplify the assembly process. The sensor is robust enough to withstand normal forces higher than 20 gf. The proposed sensor can be used for new medical applications in vascular interventions and robotic surgeries.