Manipulation of Microenvironment with a Built-in Electrochemical Actuator in Proximity of a Dissolved Oxygen Microsensor

Chang-Soo Kim, Missouri University of Science and Technology
J. O. Fiering
C. W. Scarantino
H. Troy Nagle
Chae-Hyang Lee
Stefan Ufer

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Biochemical sensors for continuous monitoring require dependable periodic self diagnosis with acceptable simplicity to check its functionality during operation. An in-situ self-diagnostic technique for a dissolved oxygen microsensor is proposed in an effort to devise an intelligent microsensor system with an integrated electrochemical actuation electrode. With a built-in platinum microelectrode that surrounds the microsensor, two kinds of microenvironments, called the oxygen-saturated or oxygen-depleted phases, can be created by water electrolysis, depending on the polarity. The functionality of the microsensor can be checked during these microenvironment phases. The polarographic oxygen microsensor is fabricated on a flexible polyimide substrate (Kapton) and the feasibility of the proposed concept is demonstrated in a physiological solution. The sensor responds properly during the oxygen-generating and oxygen-depleting phases. The use of these microenvironments for in-situ self-calibration is discussed to achieve functional integration, as well as structural integration, of the microsensor system.