Emulating the directional sensitivity of fish hair cell sensor

Junliang Tao, Ye Sun, Guangxi Wu, Xiong Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This article describes the sensor development efforts that are inspired by the unique acoustic source tracking capability of aquatics such as fish. The physiological basis in the natural system has been attributed to the unique directional responses of hair cell sensor in the otolith. To emulate such directional transduction behaviors, a hair sensor based on piezoelectric microfiber is attempted. The sensor employs piezoelectric fiber both as the hair shaft and as the transduction element. A pair of electrodes was deposited on the fiber surface both for sensor signal collection and for polarizing the piezoelectric materials. Both computational modeling analysis and experimental study were conducted to validate the sensor performance. The hair sensor was found to possess directional responses that change in the pattern of a cosine function of the loading direction, resembling that observed in the hair cell sensor in the biological system. Such transduction behaviors pave the technical basis to emulate the unique acoustic tracking strategy by aquatics.PACS 07.07.Df, 07.10.Pz, 77.84.Cg, 87.19.lt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1484-1493
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hair sensor
  • biomimetics
  • coupled mechanoelectrical model
  • directional responses
  • finite element model
  • piezoelectric fiber
  • sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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