Sensitive thermal microsensor with pn junction for heat measurement of a single cell

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10 Citations (Scopus)


A sensitive thermal microsensor based on a pn junction diode for heat measurements of biological single cells is developed and evaluated. Using a fabricated device, we demonstrated the heat measurement of a single brown fat cell. The principle of the sensor relies on the temperature dependence of the pn junction diode resistance. This method has a capability of the highly thermal sensitivity by downsizing and the advantage of a simple experimental setup using electrical circuits without any special equipment. To achieve highly sensitive heat measurement of single cells, downsizing of the sensor is necessary to reduce the heat capacity of the sensor itself. The sensor with the pn junction diode can be downsized by microfabrication. A bridge beam structure with the pn junction diode as a thermal sensor is placed in vacuum using a microfludic chip to decrease the heat loss to the surroundings. A temperature coefficient of resistance of 1.4%/K was achieved. The temperature and thermal resolutions of the fabricated device are 1.1mK and 73.6nW, respectively. The heat measurements of norepinephrine stimulated and nonstimulated single brown fat cells were demonstrated, and different behaviors in heat generation were observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number027001
JournalJapanese journal of applied physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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