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.
This work was supported in part by A*Star science and research council under Grant 0921480070. Authors would like to thank the support from Dr. Benjamin SY Chua, and Dr. C.N. Lee of the National University of Singapore, Department of Surgery.
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