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Other Publications (28)

Articles by David R.S. Cumming in JoVE

 JoVE Applied Physics

Simulation, Fabrication and Characterization of THz Metamaterial Absorbers

1School of Engineering, University of Glasgow

JoVE 50114

This protocol outlines the simulation, fabrication and characterization of THz metamaterial absorbers. Such absorbers, when coupled with an appropriate sensor, have applications in THz imaging and spectroscopy.

Other articles by David R.S. Cumming on PubMed

Electromagnetic Radiation from Ingested Sources in the Human Intestine Between 150 MHz and 1.2 GHz

The conventional method of diagnosing disorders of the human gastro-intestinal (GI) tract is by sensors embedded in cannulae that are inserted through the anus, mouth, or nose. However, these cannulae cause significant patient discomfort and cannot be used in the small intestine. As a result, there is considerable ongoing work in developing wireless sensors that can be used in the small intestine. The radiation characteristics of sources in the GI tract cannot be readily calculated due to the complexity of the human body and its composite tissues, each with different electrical characteristics. In addition, the compact antennas used are electrically small, making them inefficient radiators. This paper presents radiation characteristics for sources in the GI tract that should allow for the optimum design of more efficient telemetry systems. The characteristics are determined using the finite-difference time-domain method with a realistic antenna model on an established fully segmented human body model. Radiation intensity outside the body was found to have a Gaussian-form relationship with frequency. Maximum radiation occurs between 450 and 900 MHz. The gut region was found generally to inhibit vertically polarized electric fields more than horizontally polarized fields.

Implementation of Multichannel Sensors for Remote Biomedical Measurements in a Microsystems Format

A novel microelectronic "pill" has been developed for in situ studies of the gastro-intestinal tract, combining microsensors and integrated circuits with system-level integration technology. The measurement parameters include real-time remote recording of temperature, pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen. The unit comprises an outer biocompatible capsule encasing four microsensors, a control chip, a discrete component radio transmitter, and two silver oxide cells (the latter providing an operating time of 40 h at the rated power consumption of 12.1 mW). The sensors were fabricated on two separate silicon chips located at the front end of the capsule. The robust nature of the pill makes it adaptable for use in a variety of environments related to biomedical and industrial applications.

An On-chip Programmable Instrumentation Microsystem for Gastrointestinal Telemetry Applications

We have developed an integrated circuit microsystem instrument using a design methodology akin to that for system-on-chip microelectronics. The microsystem is optimised for low-power gastrointestinal telemetry applications and includes mixed-signal sensor circuits, programmable digital system, a feedback clock control loop and RF circuits that were integrated on a 5 mm x 5 mm silicon chip using a 0.6 microm, 3 V CMOS process. Unintended signal coupling between circuit components has been investigated and current injection into sensitive instrumentation nodes has been minimised. Tests show that the wireless instrument-on-chip worked as intended.

A Direct-sequence Spread-spectrum Communication System for Integrated Sensor Microsystems

Some of the most important challenges in health-care technologies have been identified to be development of noninvasive systems and miniaturization. In developing the core technologies, progress is required in pushing the limits of miniaturization, minimizing the costs and power consumption of microsystems components, developing mobile/wireless communication infrastructures and computing technologies that are reliable. The implementation of such miniaturized systems has become feasible by the advent of system-on-chip technology, which enables us to integrate most of the components of a system on to a single chip. One of the most important tasks in such a system is to convey information reliably on a multiple-access-based environment. When considering the design of telecommunication system for such a network, the receiver is the key performance critical block. The paper describes the application environment, the choice of the communication protocol, the implementation of the transmitter and receiver circuitry, and research work carried out on studying the impact of input data characteristics and internal data path complexity on area and power performance of the receiver. We provide results using a test data recorded from a pH sensor. The results demonstrate satisfying functionality, area, and power constraints even when a degree of programmability is incorporated in the system.

A System-on-chip Digital PH Meter for Use in a Wireless Diagnostic Capsule

This paper describes the design and implementation of a system-on-chip digital pH meter, for use in a wireless capsule application. The system is organized around an 8-bit microcontroller, designed to be functionally identical to the Motorola 6805. The analog subsystem contains a floating-electrode ISFET, which is fully compatible with a commercial CMOS process. On-chip programmable voltage references and multiplexors permit flexibility with the minimum of external connections. The chip is designed in a modular fashion to facilitate verification and component re-use. The single-chip pH meter can be directly connected to a personal computer, and gives a response of 37 bits/pH, within an operating range of 7 pH units.

A Programmable Microsystem Using System-on-chip for Real-time Biotelemetry

A telemetry microsystem, including multiple sensors, integrated instrumentation and a wireless interface has been implemented. We have employed a methodology akin to that for System-on-Chip microelectronics to design an integrated circuit instrument containing several "intellectual property" blocks that will enable convenient reuse of modules in future projects. The present system was optimized for low-power and included mixed-signal sensor circuits, a programmable digital system, a feedback clock control loop and RF circuits integrated on a 5 mm x 5 mm silicon chip using a 0.6 microm, 3.3 V CMOS process. Undesirable signal coupling between circuit components has been investigated and current injection into sensitive instrumentation nodes was minimized by careful floor-planning. The chip, the sensors, a magnetic induction-based transmitter and two silver oxide cells were packaged into a 36 mm x 12 mm capsule format. A base station was built in order to retrieve the data from the microsystem in real-time. The base station was designed to be adaptive and timing tolerant since the microsystem design was simplified to reduce power consumption and size. The telemetry system was found to have a packet error rate of 10(-3) using an asynchronous simplex link. Trials in animal carcasses were carried out to show that the transmitter was as effective as a conventional RF device whilst consuming less power.

Implementation of Radiotelemetry in a Lab-in-a-pill Format

A miniaturised lab-in-a-pill device has been produced incorporating a temperature and pH sensor with wireless communication using the 433.92 MHz ISM band. The device has been designed in order to enable real time in situ measurements in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and accordingly, issues concerning the resolution and accuracy of the data, and the lifetime of the device have been considered. The sensors, which will measure two key parameters reflecting the physiological environment in the GI (as indicators for disease) were both controlled by an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC). The data were sampled at 10-bit resolution prior to communication off chip as a single interleaved data stream. This incorporated a power saving serial bitstream data compression algorithm that was found to extend the service lifetime of the pill by 70%. An integrated on-off keying (OOK) radio transmitter was used to send the signal to a local receiver (base station), prior to acquisition on a computer. A permanent magnet was also incorporated in the device to enable non-visual tracking of the system. We report on the implementation of this device, together with an initial study sampling from within the porcine GI tract, showing that measurements from the lab-on-a-pill, in situ, was within 90% of literature values.

Construction and Characterization of a Gold Nanoparticle Wire Assembled Using Mg2+-dependent RNA-RNA Interactions

Magnesium-ion-mediated RNA-RNA loop-receptor interactions, in conjunction with gold nanoparticles derivatized with DNA, have been used to make self-assembled nanowires. A wire located between lithographically fabricated nanoelectrodes is demonstrated that exhibits activated conduction by electron hopping at temperatures in the 150-300 K range. These techniques have the ability to link particles between devices and in the future may be used to assemble practical circuits.

Biocompatibility of a Lab-on-a-pill Sensor in Artificial Gastrointestinal Environments

In this paper, we present a radiotelemetry sensor, designed as a lab-in-a-pill, which incorporates a two-channel microfabricated sensor platform for real-time measurements of temperature and pH. These two parameters have potential application for use in remote biological sensing (for example they may be used as markers that reflect the physiological environment or as indicators for disease, within the gastrointestinal tract). We have investigated the effects of biofouling on these sensors, by exploring their response time and sensitivity in a model in vitro gastrointestinal system. The artificial gastric and intestinal solutions used represent a model both for fasting, as well as for the ingestion of food and subsequent digestion to gastrointestinal chyme. The results showed a decrease in pH sensitivity after exposure of the sensors for 3 h. The response time also increased from an initial measurement time of 10 s in pure GI juice, to ca. 25 s following the ingestion of food and 80 s in simulated chyme. These in vitro results indicate that changes in viscosity in our model gastrointestinal system had a pronounced effect on the unmodified sensor.

A Combined Top-down Bottom-up Approach for Introducing Nanoparticle Networks into Nanoelectrode Gaps

We report here on the fabrication of a three-dimensional array of nanoparticles which bridges the gap between lithographically defined gold electrode contacts separated by 20 nm. The nanoparticle assemblies are formed from about 5 nm gold nanoparticles and benzenedimethanethiol (BDMT) bridging ligands. These assemblies are introduced between the contacts using a layer-by-layer protocol with successive BDMT self-assembly being followed by nanoparticle adsorption until the gap is bridged. The temperature dependent electrical properties of these devices are analysed to establish whether they are consistent with the notion that the networks are built up from molecularly interlinked discrete gold nanoparticles. To aid this analysis the molecular conductance of single bridging molecules is also characterized at room temperature using a recently introduced method based on the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). From these measurements it is concluded that the room temperature electrical properties of the nanostructured networks are limited by the small interparticle connectivity and the inherent resistance of the linker molecules.

In Situ Characterization of Two Wireless Transmission Schemes for Ingestible Capsules

We report the experimental in situ characterization of 30-40 MHz and 868 MHz wireless transmission schemes for ingestible capsules, in porcine carcasses. This includes a detailed study of the performance of a magnetically coupled near-field very high-frequency (VHF) transmission scheme that requires only one eighth of the volume and one quarter of the power consumption of existing 868-MHz solutions. Our in situ measurements tested the performance of four different capsules specially constructed for this study (two variants of each transmission scheme), in two scenarios. One mimicked the performance of a body-worn receiving coil, while the other allowed the characterization of the direction-dependent signal attenuation due to losses in the surrounding tissue. We found that the magnetically coupled near-field VHF telemetry scheme presents an attractive option for future, miniturized ingestible capsules for medical applications.

Direct Fabrication of Terahertz Optical Devices on Low-absorption Polymer Substrates

We have fabricated terahertz wire grid polarizer and terahertz bandpass filter devices on high-density polyethylene substrates using simple photolithographic fabrication techniques. The performance of the fabricated devices was measured using a Fourier transform IR spectrometer. Both devices showed good performance in the terahertz frequency range up to 5 THz, in agreement with rigorous coupled-wave analysis (polarizer) and finite-difference time-domain (filter) simulations. Our results successfully demonstrate the use of standard fabrication techniques to produce large-aperture free-standing terahertz optical devices on low-absorption polymer materials with the advantage of low cost using a simple fabrication process. The fabricated polarizer had better than 30 dB extinction ratio at 3 THz. Bandpass filters were demonstrated at three different center frequencies (1.5, 1.8, 2.9 THz) with a 3 dB insertion loss and 2

Plasmonic Split-ring Resonators As Dichroic Nanophotonic DNA Biosensors

Surface enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (SERRS) is a powerful molecular sensing tool that can be applied to a number of applications in the field of molecular diagnostics. We demonstrate that by using electron beam lithography to manipulate the nanoscale geometry of Ag split-ring resonators we can tune their optical properties such that they exhibit two independently addressable high frequency plasmon resonance modes for SERRS. This tailored multimodal, polarization dependent activity enables the split rings to act as discriminating sensors, with each resonance tuned for a particular sensing purpose. The structures are used as multiwavelength, multianalyte DNA SERRS sensors, with each resonance tuned to both the absorption wavelength of a differently colored Raman reporter molecule and its corresponding laser excitation wavelength. The ability of each resonance to independently sense small concentrations of a single DNA type from within a mixed population is demonstrated. Also shown is the effect of the split ring's dichroic response on the SERRS signal and the sensor's limit of detection of each resonance mode (switching its sensory reaction "on" and "off" depending on the orientation of the exciting light).

Wireless Endoscopy: Technology and Design

In this chapter we review the current capsule technology and the more conventional "gold standard" technologies against which the wireless devices are compared. Over the years there have been several implementations of capsule devices of growing sophistication as new technology has become available. A notable feature is the extent to which the devices available at any given time have relied upon other more mainstream technologies from which capsule builders have been able to borrow. As an inevitable consequence, device complexity and functionality have increased.

Terahertz Dual-band Resonator on Silicon

We have designed and fabricated a dual-band resonator in the terahertz frequency range on high-resistivity silicon. The device is designed to show resonances at 2.6 and 4.3 THz using the finite-difference time-domain modeling method. The characteristics of the fabricated device have been examined by using a Fourier-transform IR spectrometer. Measured results are in excellent agreement with the simulated data, showing two polarization-independent resonant peaks observed at 2.60 and 4.37 THz, respectively. The first resonance has a bandwidth of 0.56 THz, while the second one has a bandwidth of 0.70 THz. These dual-band resonant devices can be used for various applications such as dual-band spectral imaging and multiband biosensors.

Low-voltage Coded Excitation Utilizing a Miniaturized Integrated Ultrasound System Employing Piezoelectric 2-D Arrays

We describe the development of an integrated, miniaturized ultrasound system designed for use with low-voltage piezoelectric transducer arrays. The technology targets low-frequency NDT and medium- to high-frequency sonar applications, at 1.2 MHz frequency. We have constructed a flexible, reconfigurable, low cost building block capable of 3-D beam forming. The tessellation of multiple building blocks permits formation of scalable 2-D macro-arrays of increased size and varying shape. This differs from conventional ultrasound solutions by integrating the entire system in a single module. No long RF cables are required to link the array elements to the electronics. The close coupling of the array and electronics assists in achieving adequate receive signal amplitudes with differential transmission voltages as low as +/- 3.3 V, although the system can be used at higher voltages. The system has been characterized by identifying flat-bottomed holes as small as 1 mm in diameter located at depths up to 190 mm in aluminum, and holes as small as 3 mm in diameter at a depth of 160 mm in cast iron. The results confirm the ability of the highly integrated system to obtain reflections from the targets despite the +/- 3.3 V excitation voltage by exploiting coding in low-voltage ultrasound.

Imprinted Terahertz Artificial Dielectric Quarter Wave Plates

We have developed low-loss polymer artificial dielectric quarter wave plates (QWP) operating at 2.6, 3.2 and 3.8 THz. The QWPs are imprinted on high density polyethylene (HDPE) using silicon masters. The grating period for the quarter wave plates is 60 microm. 330 microm, 280 microm and 230 microm deep gratings are used to obtain a pi/2 phase retardance between TE and TM polarization propagating through the QWPs. High frequency structure simulator (HFSS) was used to optimize the grating depth. Since the required grating depth is high, two plates, fixed in a back-to-back configuration were used for each QWP. A maximum aspect ratio (grating height/grating width) of 6.6 was used.

High Transmission and Low Color Cross-talk Plasmonic Color Filters Using Triangular-lattice Hole Arrays in Aluminum Films

Three primary color (red, green and blue) filters consisting of subwavelength triangular-lattice hole arrays in an aluminum film on glass were simulated and fabricated. A silicon dioxide cap layer, deposited on the patterned aluminum film, was found to almost double the transmission efficiency for all the filters. The measured peak transmittance for each color filter was above 30%, exhibiting a wavelength spectrum with a full-width at half-maximum of approximately 100 nm. Simulation results of various structures with different cap layers revealed the enhanced coupling between surface plasmon resonances at both sides of the metal film in a symmetrical configuration. It was found that gratings with as few as three periods were sufficient to demonstrate filtering. The effect of metal thickness and hole size was investigated in detail.

Visible Light Focusing Demonstrated by Plasmonic Lenses Based on Nano-slits in an Aluminum Film

We experimentally demonstrate plasmonic lenses working in the visible range with well controlled focal lengths using nano-slits in an aluminum film. The fabricated lenses were characterized using confocal scanning optical microscopy. Two lenses with a design focal length 3 microm and 6 microm at 633 nm were investigated in detail. The full-width half-maximum beam width at the focal point was found to be 470 nm and 490 nm, and the extension of the light spot was 1.3 mum and 2.3 mum respectively. Lens performance compared extremely well with the expected behaviour from finite-difference time-domain modeling. The focal length from experiment and simulation agreed to within 3.5%. The lens manufacture was found to be insensitive to deviations from the optimum process parameters indicating that lens components can be reliably designed and produced.

A Terahertz Polarization Insensitive Dual Band Metamaterial Absorber

Metamaterial absorbers have attracted considerable attention for applications in the terahertz range. In this Letter, we report the design, fabrication, and characterization of a terahertz dual band metamaterial absorber that shows two distinct absorption peaks with high absorption. By manipulating the periodic patterned structures as well as the dielectric layer thickness of the metal-dielectric-metal structure, significantly high absorption can be obtained at specific resonance frequencies. Finite-difference time-domain modeling is used to design the structure of the absorber. The fabricated devices have been characterized using a Fourier transform IR spectrometer. The experimental results show two distinct absorption peaks at 2.7 and 5.2 THz, which are in good agreement with the simulation. The absorption magnitudes at 2.7 and 5.2 THz are 0.68 and 0.74, respectively.

Method for Vector Characterization of Polar Liquids Using Frequency-domain Spectroscopy

A device for performing vector transmission spectroscopy on aqueous and polar solvent specimens at terahertz frequencies is presented. The device enables the direct measurement of the complex dielectric function across the terahertz band using a Fourier transform IR spectrometer for lossy solutions. Using microfluidic sampling, specimen handling is straightforward and direct measurements on polar specimens are made possible. The method is scalable to longer or shorter wavelengths.

Polarization Insensitive, Broadband Terahertz Metamaterial Absorber

We present the simulation, implementation, and measurement of a polarization insensitive broadband resonant terahertz metamaterial absorber. By stacking metal-insulator layers with differing structural dimensions, three closely positioned resonant peaks are merged into one broadband absorption spectrum. Greater than 60% absorption is obtained across a frequency range of 1.86 THz where the central resonance frequency is 5 THz. The FWHM of the device is 48%, which is two and half times greater than the FWHM of a single layer structure. Such metamaterials are promising candidates as absorbing elements for bolometric terahertz imaging.

Two-dimensional Manipulation of Micro Particles by Acoustic Radiation Pressure in a Heptagon Cell

An acoustic particle manipulation system is presented, using a flexible printed circuit board formed into a regular heptagon. It is operated at 4 MHz and has a side dimension of 10 mm. The heptagonal geometry was selected for its asymmetry, which tends to reduce standing wave behavior. This leads to the possibility of having fine control over the acoustic field by varying the output phases of the transducer elements. Configurations with two and three active transducers are demonstrated experimentally. It is shown that with two transducers, the particles align along straight lines, the position of which can be moved by varying the relative excitation phases of the two transducers. With three active transducers, hexagonal-shaped patterns are obtained that can also be moved, again according to the phase of the excitation signals. Huygens' principle-based simulations were used to investigate the resultant pressure distributions. Good agreement was achieved between these simulations and both Schlieren imaging and particle manipulation observations.

Real-time Ion-flux Imaging in the Growth of Micrometer-scale Structures and Membranes

Real-time ion flux imaging: an ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) array is coupled with optical microscopy to image the growth of, and ion flux through, micrometer-scale tubes and membranes built from polyoxometalate clusters. The correlation between the optical and ionic imaging data is excellent, showcasing the use of ISFET arrays for high-resolution spatial and temporal mapping of ionic movements.

Imaging the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction in Real Time Using an Ion Sensitive Array

We show how an array of ion-sensitive-field-effect-transistors can be used to both spatially and temporally image the oscillating pH/ion waves produced by the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction with high resolution.

Terahertz Single Pixel Imaging Based on a Nipkow Disk

We describe a terahertz single pixel imaging system based on a Nipkow disk. Nipkow disks have been used for fast scanning imaging systems since the first experimental television was invented in 1926. In our work, a Nipkow disk with 24 scanning lines was used to provide an axial resolution of 2 mm/pixel. We also show that by implementing a microscanning technique the axial resolution can be further improved to 0.5 mm/pixel. Imaging of several objects was demonstrated to show that this simple scanning system is promising for fast or real time terahertz imaging applications.

Application of Terahertz Spectroscopy to the Characterization of Biological Samples Using Birefringence Silicon Grating

We present a device and method for performing vector transmission spectroscopy on biological specimens at terahertz (THz) frequencies. The device consists of artificial dielectric birefringence obtained from silicon microfluidic grating structures. The device can measure the complex dielectric function of a liquid, across a wide THz band of 2 to 5.5 THz, using a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer. Measurement data from a range of liquid specimens, including sucrose, salmon deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), herring DNA, and bovine serum albumin protein solution in water are presented. The specimen handling is simple, using a microfluidic channel. The transmission through the device is improved significantly and thus the measurement accuracy and bandwidth are increased.

Design and Implementation of a Wireless Capsule Suitable for Autofluorescence Intensity Detection in Biological Tissues

We report on the design, fabrication, testing, and packaging of a miniaturized system capable of detecting autofluorescence (AF) from mammalian intestinal tissue. The system comprises an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), light-emitting diode, optical filters, control unit, and radio transmitter. The ASIC contains a high-voltage charge pump and single-photon avalanche diode detector (SPAD). The charge pump biases the SPAD above its breakdown voltage to operate in Geiger mode. The SPAD offers a photon detection efficiency of 37% at 520 nm, which corresponds to the AF emission peak of the principle human intestinal fluorophore, flavin adenine dinucleotide. The ASIC was fabricated using a commercial triple-well high-voltage CMOS process. The complete device operates at 3 V and draws an average of 7.1 mA, enabling up to 23 h of continuous operation from two 165-mAh SR44 batteries.

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