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September 30, 2014

PhD student at the Sensing Magnetism and Microsystems laboratory published paper in Lab on a Chip

Ahmed Alfadhel, a PhD student at the Sensing Magnetism and Microsystems laboratory (​) led by Prof. Jürgen Kosel has published a paper titled: "A magnetic Nanocomposite for Biomimetic Flow Sensing" in Lab on a Chip.

In this work, a novel magnetic nanocomposite has been implemented as artificial hair (also called cilia) on a giant magnetoimpedance (GMI) sensor for biomimetic flow sensing. Bending of the nanocomposite cilia due to a fluid flow causes a change in the magnetic field at the GMI sensor and a corresponding change in impedance. The permanent magnetic nanowires and the high elasticity of the cilia result in a high-performance flow sensor with unprecedented low power consumption and potential for wireless operation.

Compared to previous artificial cilia sensors, no additional magnetic field is required to magnetize the nanocomposite or bias the sensor, which simplifies miniaturization and integration in microsystems. There are also no limitations with respect to the fluid; gases as well as liquids can be measured without modifications.


Lab on a Chip is a peer reviewed journal reporting breakthrough work related to micro- and nano-scale devices across a variety of disciplines including: chemistry, biology, bioengineering, physics, electronics, clinical/medical science, chemical engineering and materials science.


Ahmed Alfadhel is currently a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at the Sensing, Magnetism and Microsystems (SMM) research group in KAUST under the supervision of Prof. Jürgen Kosel. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, US in 2010 and his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia in 2012. His research interests are in the development of magnetic micro- and nano-systems and sensors. He has filed a provisional patent and authored 7 journal papers and international conference presentations (including 1 invited talk).


This project has been enabled by the multidisciplinary laboratory environment provided at KAUST, enabling nanofabrication and characterization of nanowires, microfabrication of artificial cilia and GMI sensors, fluidic system fabrication for testing, RF measurement of the GMI sensor and finite element modeling for the design. We would like to acknowledge the members of the SMM lab, the thin film core lab and the nanofabrication and characterization core lab, who helped realizing this work.


Concept of the magnetic nanocomposite artificial cilia sensor together with fabricated devices and flow measurement results*.

A. Alfadhel, B. Li, A. Zaher, O. Yassine, and J. Kosel, Lab Chip, 2014, DOI: 10.1039/c4lc00821a. *

Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.​

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