Over the past fifty years, the development of sensors for biological applications has increased dramatically. This rapid growth can be attributed in part to the reduction in feature size, which the electronics industry has pioneered over the same period. The decrease in feature size has led to the production of microscale sensors that are used for sensing applications, ranging from whole-body monitoring down to molecular sensing. Unfortunately, sensors are often developed without regard to how they will be integrated into biological systems. The complexities of integration are underappreciated. Integration involves more than simply making electrical connections. Interfacing microscale sensors with biological environments requires numerous considerations with respect to the creation of compatible packaging, the management of biological reagents, and the act of combining technologies with different dimensions and material properties. Recent advances in microfluidics, especially the proliferation of soft lithography manufacturing methods, have established the groundwork for creating systems that may solve many of the problems inherent to sensor-fluidic interaction. The adaptation of microelectronics manufacturing methods, such as Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) and Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) processes, allows the creation of a complete biological sensing system with integrated sensors and readout circuits. Combining these technologies is an obstacle to forming complete sensor systems. This dissertation presents new approaches for the design, fabrication, and integration of microscale sensors and microelectronics with microfluidics. The work addresses specific challenges, such as combining commercial manufacturing processes into biological systems and developing microscale sensors in these processes. This work is exemplified through a feedback-controlled microfluidic pH system to demonstrate the integration capabilities of microscale sensors for autonomous microenvironment control.
- Systems integration for biosensing: design, fabrication, and packaging of microelectronics, sensors, and microfluidics