Needleman and Vlassak are developing a calorimeter that is designed to be sufficiently sensitive to resolve the metabolic rate of a single mammalian cell. They developed a thermopile that achieves pico-Watt sensitivity, which should be sufficient for the project. Calorimeter sensors with this level of sensitivity have not been developed. He has created two different designs: a design with four reference cells for isothermal measurements (left) and a design with one reference for less sensitive isothermal measurements and scanning measurements (right). They are now optimizing the fabrication process to manufacture the devices.
Joost J. Vlassak (SEAS)
Harvard MRSEC (DMR-1420570)