Cantilever beam temperature sensors for biological applications

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This review presents two types of cantilever beams employed as highly sensitive temperature sensors. One type is fabricated from composite materials and is operated in the deflection mode. The second type, used as a temperature sensor and presented in this review, is a resonant cantilever beam. The materials used for the fabrication of the bimaterial cantilever beam are silicon or silicon nitride and thin metallic films such as gold or aluminum. When the temperature changes, the different coefficients of thermal expansion of the metal and silicon cause the sensor to deflect. Considering the models of temperature measurement for biological cells, the heat should be applied locally at the tip of the cantilever beam. Formulas for the calculation of the deflection as a function of incident power applied at the free end of the cantilever beam operated in a liquid are presented in this review. The natural convective heat transfer coefficient was estimated by using the mathematical model and experimental values. For biological applications, the cantilever beam temperature sensor was operated in a liquid, and the heat transfer coefficients were between 381 and 642 W/m2K when the temperature applied to the cantilever's free end varied from 28 to 71.8 °C. The resonant cantilever beam was also demonstrated as a sensitive temperature sensor for biological applications. As a thermogenic sample, brown fat cells (BFCs), which are related to metabolic heat production, are employed. The working principle of the resonator cantilever beam temperature sensor is based on the shift in resonant frequency in response to temperature changes. The resonant frequency and the temperature coefficient were 960 kHz and 22.0 ppm/K, respectively. The measurements were performed by stimulating the activity of BFCs by flowing a norepinephrine (NE) solution (1 µM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalIEEJ Transactions on Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1


  • calorimeter
  • micro/nano cantilever sensor
  • temperature sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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