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microcontroller (AtMega8) and programmed to automate the
viscosity measurement, as shown in Fig. 4a and Fig. 4b. The
motherboard was powered using a 12 V dc adapter to operate
the peristaltic pump and other electronic parts. Two peristaltic
pumps were 3D printed,a microcontroller was automated
to control them, and they were used to pump the test fluid and
for priming the microchannel, respectively.
The test fluids were selected so that, during the flow, fluid
was capable of conducting electrical signals from the conductive
biological fluids after establishing an electrical contact
between the two electrodes. The microcontroller was designed
to sense this electrical contact and measure the time gap between
each electrical pulse. From the four electrodes present
on the microchannel, three time-gap values were obtained,
whose average was used to measure the viscosity. The 3DP
EMV, microcontroller motherboard, peristaltic pumps, and
display units were enclosed in a 3D printed case. Fig. 4c shows
the completely developed standalone device.
To measure the relative viscosity, water was considered as
a reference fluid, and the time taken by water to cover a fixed
length in the microchannel was measured in seven trials and
stored in the microcontroller. Human serum albumin (HSA),
bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lysozyme were subjected
for testing to measure viscosity. These solutions are enzymes
that undergo unfolding after subjected to heating at 85 °C for
30 minutes. The viscosity of the biological solutions was measured
before and after denaturation (B.D and A.D), using a
tabletop viscometer, and viscosity values were compared with
the EMV device. In Fig. 5, the relative viscosity values obtained
from the EMV are plotted for all the concentrations of all the
samples. Before and after denaturation, viscosity was measured
by keeping water as reference fluid throughout all of the
experiments.
Fig. 3. (a) Schematic of PCB layout; (b) Schematic of the buttons and motor driver.
Fig. 4. (a) Microcontroller motherboard and other control units without display; (b) Microcontroller motherboard and other control units with display; (c)
Completely automated device with integrated peristaltic pump and other sub-systems
June 2021
IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine
25

Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 24-4

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