Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) development has become an active area for research in over the last decade. This area has advanced rapidly in recent years due to the potential ability of MEMS devices to perform complex functions in a smaller area. There is also the prospect to develop devices that can (1) be easily manufactured, (2) offer low power consumption, and (3) reduce waste. Especially in the BioMEMS area these advantages are important in terms of applied devices for biosensing, clinical diagnostics, physiological sensing, flow cytometry, and other lab-on-a-chip applications. However, one major obstacle that has been overlooked is the interface of these microdevices with the macroworld. This is critical to enable applications and development of the technology, as currently testing and analysis of data from these devices is mostly limited to generic microprobe stations. New advancements in BioMEMS have to occur in concert with the development of data acquisition systems and signal preprocessors to fully appreciate and test these developing technologies. In this work, we present the development of a cost effective, high throughput data acquisition system (Bio-HD DAQ) and a signal preprocessor for a MEMS-based cell electrophysiology lab-on-a-Chip (CEL-C) device. The signal preprocessor consists of a printed circuit board mounted with the CEL-C device and a 64-channel filter/amplifier circuit array. The data acquisition system includes a high-density crosspoint switching matrix that connects the signal preprocessor to a 16-channel, 18bit, and 625kSs DAQ card. Multimodule custom software designed on LABVIEW 7.0 is used to control the DAQ system. While this version of the Bio-HD DAQ system and accompanying software are designed keeping in view the specific requirements of the CEL-C device, it is highly adaptable and, with minor modifications, can become a generic data acquisition system for MEMS development, testing, and application.

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