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Title: Stepper microactuators driven by ultrasonic power transfer
Author: Denisov, Alexey
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Advances in miniature devices for biomedical applications are creating ever-increasing requirements for their continuous, long lasting, and reliable energy supply, particularly for implanted devices. As an alternative to bulky and cost inefficient batteries that require occasional recharging and replacement, energy harvesting and wireless power delivery are receiving increased attention. While the former is generally only suited for low-power diagnostic microdevices, the latter has greater potential to extend the functionality to include more energy demanding therapeutic actuation such as drug release, implant mechanical adjustment or microsurgery. This thesis presents a novel approach to delivering wireless power to remote medical microdevices with the aim of satisfying higher energy budgets required for therapeutic functions. The method is based on ultrasonic power delivery, the novelty being that actuation is powered by ultrasound directly rather than via piezoelectric conversion. The thesis describes a coupled mechanical system remotely excited by ultrasound and providing conversion of acoustic energy into motion of a MEMS mechanism using a receiving membrane coupled to a discrete oscillator. This motion is then converted into useful stepwise actuation through oblique mechanical impact. The problem of acoustic and mechanical impedance mismatch is addressed. Several analytical and numerical models of ultrasonic power delivery into the human body are developed. Major design challenges that have to be solved in order to obtain acceptable performance under specified operating conditions and with minimum wave reflections are discussed. A novel microfabrication process is described, and the resulting proof-of-concept devices are successfully characterized.
Supervisor: Yeatman, Eric Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral