Three-dimensional flexible thermal sensor for intravascular flow monitoring

Rui Tang, Hai Huang, Yong Mo Yang, Jonathon Oiler, Mengbing Liang, Hongyu Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A novel design and assembly technology is developed for a three-dimensional (3-D) flexible thermal flow sensor based on convective heat transfer to reduce detection error caused by position variation of a sensor inside the flowof narrow and curved geometries, such as coronary artery. The 3-D sensor has three independent sensing elements equally distributed around the catheter tube. This arrangementintroduces three independent information channels, and cross-comparisons are used to provide accurate flow measurement. The resistance of the sensing elements is measured at ~1-1.2 kωB with the temperature coefficient of resistance at 0.086%/.C. Using a constant-current circuit, the three sensing elements are heated to ~10 .C above ambient temperature. Flow testing is implemented in a pipe channel at two positions: on the wall and along the center line. Experimental results from these two positions are discussed and computational fluid dynamic simulation based on Newtonian fluid properties is implemented, showing comparable results within an acceptable range of experimental to simulation errors. Therefore, we demonstrate the capability of 3-D thermal flow sensor for detecting the position of the catheter in the flow channel, thereby providing an accurate flow measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6521353
Pages (from-to)3991-3998
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013


  • 3-D packaging
  • Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) thermal sensors
  • polymer
  • shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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