A micromechanical flow sensor for microfluidic applications

David A. Czaplewski, Bojan Rob Ilic, Maxim Zalalutdinov, William L. Olbricht, Alan T. Zehnder, Harold G. Craighead, Terry A. Michalske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We fabricated a microfluidic flow meter and measured its response to fluid flow in a microfluidic channel. The flow meter consisted of a micromechanical plate, coupled to a laser deflection system to measure the deflection of the plate during fluid flow. The 100 μm square plate was clamped on three sides and elevated 3 μm above the bottom surface of the channel. The response of the flow meter was measured for flow rates, ranging from 2.1 to 41.7 μL/min. Several fluids, with dynamic viscosities ranging from 0.8 to 4.5 × 10-3 N/m, were flowed through the channels. Flow was established in the microfluidic channel by means of a syringe pump, and the angular deflection of the plate monitored. The response of the plate to flow of a fluid with a viscosity of 4.5 × 10-3 N/m was linear for all flow rates, while the plate responded linearly to flow rates less than 4.2 μL/min of solutions with lower dynamic viscosities. The sensitivity of the deflection of the plate to fluid flow was 12.5 ± 0.2 μrad/(μL/min), for a fluid with a viscosity of 4.5 × 10-3 N/m. The encapsulated plate provided local flow information along the length of a microfluidic channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-585
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A micromechanical flow sensor for microfluidic applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this