Editorial Feature

Microfluidic Design Enables Miniaturizes Acceleration Sensors with Greater Efficiency

Researcher: Prof Lev Lavy
Department: Faculty of Science, The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
University: Hebrew University of Jerusalem Reseach


Small acceleration sensors are normally based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Mechanical elements such as springs that are found in MEMS devices, may be difficult to implement in sub millimeter/micron scale devices and are prone to mechanical wear. A major disadvantage of traditional acceleration measurement techniques such as EM phenomena such as dielectrophoresis (DEP) and magnetophoresis (MEP) is their characteristic non-linear relationship between the measured signal and the acceleration, making it essential to have computing capabilities for processing the signal.

The present research will be of interest to microfluidics and electronics, device integration and sensors. The research is in the proof of concept in model current dielectrophoresis technology stage. A patent application has been filed in the US based on this technology.


The researchers discovered a special design of electrodes that apply a spring-like force on a particle in suspension by extracting DEP force without the need for a mechanical spring. Constant sensitivity over the total range of the force/acceleration has been measured.

Key Features

The key features of the technology include the following:

  • It employs cost effective, relatively simple and small-sized electronic circuit
  • It eliminates the need for complex post processing of the detected signal
  • The system is not subject to mechanical wear
  • It provides a linear measurement of acceleration over a desired acceleration range
  • It can easily and dynamically change from one acceleration range to another without changing instruments as may be needed during investigation of a sudden stop in an accident.


Acceleration sensors are used in cellular phones, computer mice, global positioning systems (GPS), game console controls. They can also be used as speedometers and/or position detectors, and in a vast number of applications for handheld devices for motion tracking to enable gesture monitoring/analysis.

Current Status

The researchers are currently seeking funding for ongoing research.

About the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Since nanotechnology has gained considerable significance in modern science and technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem established the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. The Center operates within the Faculty of Science and strives to create required conditions for the flow of expertise, knowledge and research between researchers from a range of disciplines that include physics, chemistry, applied and life sciences, medicine and engineering. It strives to bring together scientists from a number of disciplines that deal with nanotechnology. The center has around 40 member groups and desires to expand further by recruiting promising, young, faculty members.

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