In this paper, a high-resolution bio-optical sensor is developed for brain activity measurement. The aim is to develop an optical sensor with enough sensitivity to detect small electric field perturbations caused by neuronal action potential. The sensing element is a polymeric dielectric micro-resonator fabricated in a spherical shape with a few hundred microns in diameter. They are made of optical quality polymers that are soft which make them mechanically compatible with tissue. The sensors are attached to or embedded in optical fibers which serve as input/output conduits for the sensors. Hundreds or even thousands of spheres can be attached to a single fiber to detect and transmit signals at different locations. The high quality factor for the optical resonator makes it significantly used in such bio-medical applications. The sensing phenomenon is based on whispering gallery modes (WGM) shifts of the optical sensor. To mimic the brain signals, the spherical resonator is immersed in a homogeneous electrical field that is created by applying potential difference across two metallic plates. One of the plates has a variable voltage while the volt on the other plate kept fixed. Any small perturbations of the potential difference (voltage) lead to change in the electric field intensity. In turn the sensor morphology will be affected due to the change in the electrostriction force acting on it causing change in its WGM. By tracking these WGM shift on the transmission spectrum, the induced potential difference (voltage change) could be measured. Results of a mathematical model simulation agree well with the preliminary experiments. Also, the results show that the brain activity could be measured using this principle.
Amir R. Ali and Yasmin M. Massoud, "Bio-optical sensor for brain activity measurement based on whispering gallery modes," Proc. SPIE 10247, Bio-MEMS and Medical Microdevices III, 102470A (Presented at SPIE Microtechnologies: May 10, 2017; Published: 30 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265390.
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