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Study of A Single Cell Temperature


Measurement using Thermocouple Nanosensor
Muhammad Faiz bin Noor Hasim, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,

AbstractRecent analysis has found that the nanotechnology


can give the scientists and engineers to deal with the nanoscale
structure and investigate their applications in this modern world.
New approach of this nanotechnology is in the bioengineering
field, where the cell structure is being analysed and experimented
to determine the properties and characteristics in order to help
human in various applications. One of them is to detect defect cells
and diseases in early stage to prevent cancer, tumour and other
dangerous sickness in human. This disease can be prevented by
doing observation and research about the cell temperature in
various conditions and properties of the surrounding. Detecting
the cell temperature can help most of the doctors to identify and
find a cure to the disease. Weaker and defect cell have known to
have different characteristics than the healthy cell. This research
can be done by designing a temperature nanosensor tool.
Investigate further of that tool and cell properties by using
computer simulation software that exist in this current period
would provide some information and support existing collected
experimented data and be a reference for the future research.
ABAQUS computer simulation has given the opportunity for the
researcher to develop the nanosensor to assist human in this
project. From the analysis result, we can observe the calibration
data of that nanosensor design, as well as the effect of fabrication
towards the material. The result from this simulation can be
concluded on the nanosensor capabilities as a temperature
measurement tool for the cell analysis and the effects of the factors
towards determining nanosensor sensitivity.

I. INTRODUCTION
Nanotechnology is an engineering field that works in the
molecular scale structure. The birth of this technology has
improve our life and aided human into many aspect of their life.
Nano scale mechanism has been use in many machines and
other medical products but still its a new discovery that every
scientist and engineer want to explore. Their enthusiasm has
lead this technology into new era. Now this technology can be
used to determine the single cell structures of microorganism
and also macro organism.

normal and constant temperature reading compare to the


weaker one. This research will study and investigate more
further of the characteristics of living cell temperature by using
nanotechnology based method or approach.
Intense research was done in the field of transporting
thermal in nanometer scale devices. The development of
nanoscale devices are actively done in the field of electronic,
thermoelectric, optoelectronic, electromechanical and sensing
applications. The research including nanoelectronic device
based on carbon nanotubes [1], nanolasers based on ZnO
nanowire arrays [2], thermoelectric coolers based on
superlattices [3] and nanowires [4]. Those techniques
mentioned havent been tested on cell level. The micropipette
thermocouple [5] is the suitable technique for cell operation,
injection of DNA fragment into a cell and measuring
temperature of a cell.
II. PROCEDURE
A. Project Development Overview
The intention of this project is to test the capabilities of
designed nanosensor tool to take measurement from a specimen
or cell. The method to measure temperature is known one of the
effective way to determine if the organism either in healthy
condition or sick. For example, human use temperature to
measure their body heat to determine their condition. So, we
use the same method to the cell for early disease diagnosis. As
we known, a healthy warm-blood organism has their specific
range of body temperature and when alien microorganism
infect the body, the host body temperature will change. So, we
develop a nanosensor to detect the changes from a single cell.

The characteristics of single cell has provide researcher with


many of information. Some of them is used in the area of early
disease diagnosis. This single cell approach has the ability to
detect any abnormality lies in the cell and will prevent any
undesired progression to a tissue and organ level.

B. Process of Measuring Temperature


Process of measuring the cell is divided into three steps. The
first process is the called initial condition where the tool is on
the cell. The cell should be placed on the solid surface to make
the process of taking measurement easier. Then the second
process is where the nanosensor moving towards the cell with
certain speed to avoid any error in taking the measurement and
to prevent the cell from being damage. Third process is done
when the tool is already penetrate into the cell with setting depth
and its ready to take the body temperature of the cell.

One of the method is to use temperature sensor to detect cell


temperature. As we known, healthy organism will have a

The tool we designed is based on the thermocouple concept.


Heat from the load or specimen will produce an electric signal

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at the other end of the tool. This signal should will be amplified,
filtered and converted to digital form to reduce error from the
measurement.

The process is continue with the analysis of output or result


required for the project. All the result can be obtained and
extracted within ABAQUS simulation software.

III. RESULT AND DISCUSSION

Figure 1: General idea of the process


C. Developing the Temperature Nanosensor
The nanosensor tool is developed using the simulation
software called ABAQUS. This software is capable to design
model, simulate the process, analyze the behavior and illustrate
the requirement result or output. In ABAQUS, the tool will be
design first with all the proposed dimensions. After the design
has been completed, we will calibrate it to understand the
behavior of that tool including the characteristics and effect of
several factors towards the tool model. Finally, the tool be
tested on the cell model design using the same software to see
the effect of penetration to the cell.

A. Calibration Result
Two analysis have been done in order to know the
thermocouple nanosensor calibration data. The first analysis
was done based on heat transfer analysis. The purpose of this
analysis is to see the tool capabilities in conducting heat along
its body and how it react on the given load or temperature. The
second analysis was performed under voltage analysis to ensure
the tool can conduct electrical signal throughout its body. The
data in Table 1 shows the values of temperature versus time. By
default, ABAQUS will perform the analysis based on time
response.
Table 1: Data from heat transfer analysis
TIME, (s)
TEMPERATURE, (C)
0.1
5.018
0.2
9.997
0.3
14.990
0.4
20.023
0.5
25.017
0.6
29.965
0.7
35.012
0.8
39.983
0.9
45.007
1.0
49.992
From the data collected, we plot graph to see the relationship
of temperature and time. Figure 3 shows the relation of both
parameters; temperature and time.

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Figure 2: Process of development


In calibrating process, the designed nanosensor is undergo
tow process of analysis which are heat transfer analysis and
voltage analysis. Heat transfer analysis is done to test the tool
capability in transferring heat along the design body. This is
important because thermocouple is based on heat charges
moving in the body due to temperature changes. While, voltage
analysis is to see the effectiveness of our nanosensor in
conducting electrical signal. This is done because the concept
of thermocouple required the tool to produce voltage signal.
This signal been measured to determine the voltage produced
in a certain value of temperature.

Graph Temperature, (C) versus Time, (s)

40
20
0
0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

Temperature Value

Figure 3: Plotted graph temperature versus time


Then, we extracted the data from voltage analysis and list it
in the Table 2 for clearer view.

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Table 2: Data from voltage analysis
TIME, (s)
VOLTAGE, (mV)
0.1
0.259
0.2
0.518
0.3
0.775
0.4
1.034
0.5
1.292
0.6
1.554
0.7
1.810
0.8
2.069
0.9
2.327
1.0
2.585

Graph Voltage, (mV) versus Temperature, (C)


3
2
1
0
5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Electric Potential

Figure 5: Plotted graph from both analysis


Data collected from voltage analysis will be converted into
graph for better understanding about electric potential and time.
Figure 4 shows the graph of voltage against time.

Graph Voltage, (mV) versus Time, (s)


3
2
1
0
0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

Electrical Potential

Figure 4: Plotted graph voltage versus time


Both data from the heat transfer and voltage analysis are
combined together to generated the thermocouple relationship
between electric potential generated against temperature. Table
3 shows the combination data of both analysis.
Table 3: Data from both analysis
Y-Axis
X-Axis
Time (s)
Voltage (mV)
Temperature (C)
0.1
0.259
5.018
0.2
0.518
9.997
0.3
0.775
14.990
0.4
1.034
20.023
0.5
1.292
25.017
0.6
1.554
29.965
0.7
1.810
35.012
0.8
2.069
39.983
0.9
2.327
45.007
1.0
2.585
49.992
Figure 5 shows the graph of relationship between voltages
against temperature.

B. Discussion on Result
The results were obtain from the design nanosensor with
dimension of 0.6m x 0.6m x 10 m. Based from theories,
material size and length can be neglected in design.
Thermocouple characteristic is based on two primary
components which are electrical potential and temperature
value. The calculation of thermocouple is based on the Seeback
theory[5].
= ()

where V is the voltage difference between measured and cold


junction, S known as Seeback coefficient and T is the
temperature difference between hot and cold junction. The
gradient of Figure 5 shows the Seeback coefficient or also
known as sensitivity of thermocouple.
()
=
()
(2.585 0.259)
=
(50 5)
= 0.05169
51.69

This is also showing that the thermocouple can detect the


51.69 V in every increment of 1C. It has the acceptable value
sensitivity for thermocouple type J. This value is too small to
be read and can be amplified by using amplifier for better
reading. We acknowledge that the small reading of this
thermocouple might be also resulting from the combination of
result and noise. So, some improvements are needed to correct
the reading. It only can improve the reading but not completely
eliminated the problem, by designing better signal filtering,
shielding and analong-to-digital (ADC) conversion
.
To verify our result from the simulation, we took a sample of
thermocouple reading from industry that have been test the type
J thermocouple. Our design is based on the thermocouple type
J. The data taken from the industry is based from the calibration
on larger scale or size than as we design in micro scale. As in
the theories, thermocouple design are not depend on the length
and size of that tool. Table 4.4 shows the comparison data from
industrial[7] and simulation.

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Table 4: Comparison of thermocouples
PRACTICAL
SIMULATION
DATA
DATA
Temperature, (C)
Voltage, (mV)
5
0.253
0.259
10
0.507
0.518
15
0.762
0.775
20
1.019
1.034
25
1.277
1.292
30
1.537
1.554
35
1.797
1.810
40
2.059
2.069
45
2.322
2.327
50
2.585
2.585
Based from the comparison data of practical and simulation
data, we can calculate the sensitivity of thermocouple in
practical used.
()
=
()
(2.585 0.253)
=
(50 5)
= 0.05182
51.82

For the temperature nanosensor to work efficiently as


measuring tool, it needs to be calibrated for the purpose of
understanding its characteristics. The calibration also can be
done by using simulation and it has been proven by our method
using ABAQUS simulation software. In addition, the
simulation also proven as one way to investigate other
parameters that may affect the characteristic of our design
thermocouple nanosensor.
B. Future Recommendation
As mention previously, the nanotechnology in medical
research is still new and need some improvement for the
future use. In our project, it is recommended to continue this
simulation for improvement. This thermocouple nanosensor
tool should be tested on various environments for it to work
efficiently. For example, the tool can be test in the humid or
room temperature instead in the vacuum environment.
It is also recommended if possible to create the human cell
model in ABAQUS with the respective properties and
characteristics to make the measurement are more practical to
be used in medical field as a sensor to detect abnormalities
within cell. This will be a huge discoveries for early detecting
diseases and help a medical person creating an antidote to
prevent the infection of diseases.

From the value of sensitivity, we can compare it with


simulation to find the error produce by both thermocouples.

REFERENCES
[1]

( )
100

(51.82 51.69)
=
100
51.69
= 0.25 %

, % =

The error from simulation is too small. This is shows that our
thermocouple nanosensor is practical to be used for measuring
a cell temperature.

[2]

[3]

[4]
[5]

[6]

IV. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RECOMMENDATION


A. Conclusion
Recently, nanotechnology has grown widely from
microelectronic field into biomedical field. The grown of that
technology has given the human opportunity to find new
discoveries that would be beneficial to humankind. Based from
scientific research of using this nanotechnology, humans can
extract and analyze the data from a macro organism scale such
as human until a smaller organism such as microorganism. One
of the finding in this field is detecting temperature of a
microorganism such as cell. This has given us the opportunity
to develop a method of diagnosing cell condition by estimating
its temperature using the nanotechnology approach.

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Available: www.intech.co.nz [Accessed 4/2/2013].