An ultraminiature micropressure sensor to accurately measure intramuscular pressure has been developed. The MEMS sensor is fabricated through surface micromachining and consists of a capacitive array of eight 150μm diameter sensing membranes connected in parallel. The membranes have been vacuum-sealed via a subsequent deposition and patterning batch microfabrication step. A deep reactive ion etcher (DRIE) based postfabrication self-release has been utilized to fabricate individual devices. Each device has an outline that incorporates specially designed “anchor” structures that are utilized to attach on the muscle tissue during measurements to minimize the effect of muscle contractions on sensor readings. Electrical isolation of the wire bonds and bonding pads has been accomplished by utilizing glob-topping technique. The fabricated sensor performance has been experimentally validated inside a pressure chamber. The current sensors have 0.2 mm Hg pressure resolution in the ±19mmHg dynamic range with negligible hysteresis and show a flat frequency response in the 0–5.5 Hz experimental test range.

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