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Microsensor devices for monitoring liquids

There is a growing need for continuous monitoring of important constituents of liquids in diverse industrial processes. Manufacturing technology for mass production of silicon microsensors is now available.

Industrial Technologies

Sensor systems that can measure many parameters of a liquid or its constituents have wide industrial applications. They may be used in environmental measurements for accessing water's quality or the pollutants it contains. In healthcare, sensors can be utilized for monitoring patients in intensive care or in the operating room. Numerous other applications can also be found in the biotechnology industry and the food industry. Research in the field has shown that silicon sensors based on Ion-Selective Field Effect Transistors (ISFET) are very small, have the ability to measure many parameters and can now be mass-produced to suppress their cost. The main obstacle in the mass production of microsensors was the lack of a device that would deposit on the silicon chip the “measuring equipment”, i.e. membranes or bio-molecules, at an industrial scale. A collaboration, headed by Siemens AG, has developed and patented such a system that achieves high precision and is compatible with existing silicon chip production lines. The integration of the dispensing system in the production line allows mass-production and, therefore, low prices for this versatile analytic and diagnostic instrument.

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