Design and implementation of pattern recognition algorithms for the detection of chemicals with a microcantilever sensor array
Nowadays, we are witnesses to the noticeable success in the development of a new class of chemical and biological sensors – microfabricated cantilever sensor arrays actuated at their resonance frequencies and functionalized by polymer coatings. The major advantages of such miniature sensors are their small size, fast response, remarkably high sensitivity, and the endless possibilities of reaching high selectivity via customized combination of polymer coatings. These devices are inexpensive, portable, and have the ability to operate in various environments, such as vacuum, air and liquids. The areas of applications of microfabricated cantilever sensor arrays are almost countless, including a variety of scientific research in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and genetics, food and beverage industry, perfume industry, pharmacology, medicine, environmental monitoring, and most recently, related to the national security due to a high risk of terrorist attacks.
However, despite the remarkable achievements in fabrication of microcantilever sensor arrays, creating an accurate and reliable pattern recognition algorithm as a part of the sensory system is still an essential and not yet completely solved problem. Most pattern analysis algorithms that have been used with the cantilever sensor arrays today are highly customized, ad hoc algorithms. They often lack generality and cannot be easily carried from one set of experimental data to another. Therefore, the main goal of the current work was developing a pattern recognition algorithm that can be highly effective on a given set of sensory data and easily adjustable to any new set of data.