Integrated Sensing Systems (ISSYS, www.mems-issys.com) received a utility patent from the U.S. Patent Office for its resonant tube viscosity sensing device. This patent covers a method and device for assessing the viscosity of a fluid using a microfluidic chip. The patent”s 39 granted claims include methods of fabricating, designing and packaging the new sensor, and combining its output with other sensory outputs, such as mass flowrate, density, and temperature.

The patent also covers the integration of the sensor directly onto an engine to monitor the oil or lubricant quality for vehicle applications (both automotive and military usage). This application offers a means of sensing automotive oil quality, which can reduce oil consumption and prevent engine wear. The patent builds on ISSYS”s previous microfluidic patents in this area such as US Patents 6,477,901, 6,647,778 and 6,935,010.

Dr. Douglas Sparks, ISSYS Executive Vice President, said in a prepared statement, “This new patent and technology has applications to broaden ISSYS”s laboratory test equipment and industrial product lines. Spillover into automotive and trucking applications gives this technology the potential to be a high-volume sensing product used in millions of vehicles. A MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) sensor that can monitor the viscosity, density, temperature and mass flow of motor oil is truly unique and offers a way to advance the state-of-the-art in oil quality sensing.”