Micro nano force measurement


There are many force sensor technologies but the FEMTO-ST Institute is the world leader in the design of low-force sensors using passive magnetic springs combined with a macroscopic seismic mass of a few milligrams. An application of this technology is the characterization of human oocytes that is currently underway with the Besançon Regional University Hospital Center and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Whatever the used technology, applications in force measurement suffer from the fact that there is currently no small force standard in the range below a hundred millinewtons. Moreover, the force measurement is not traceable to the international unit system. As a result, the reliability of the measurement of micro- and nanoforces is strongly questioned.

Besides, measurement architectures based on macroscopic seismic mass make possible the idea of ​​a traceable small force measurement. Indeed, since the mass of a few milligrams incorporated in the sensor is a physical quantity connected to the international unit system, it can be determined very precisely. All the difficulty is then to correctly go back up to the measurement of force from the known mass of the transducer. The objective of the team is to define a traceable metrology context for forces below the millinewton.


Emmanuel PIAT






- J. Abadie, E. Piat, S. Oster et M. Boukallel. Modeling and experimentation of a passive low frequency nanoforce sensor based on diamagnetic levitation. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 173(1) : 227-237, 2012.

- E. Piat, J. Abadie et S. Oster. Nanoforce estimation based on Kalman filtering and applied to a force sensor using diamagnetic levitation. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 179 : 223-236, 2012.

- R. Gana, J. Abadie, E. Piat, C. Roux, C. Amiot, C. Pieralli et B. Wacogne. A novel force sensing platform using passive magnetic springs for mechanical characterisation of human oocytes. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 262 : 114-122, 2017.

- T. Shen, E. Benet, S. L. Sridhar, J. Abadie, E. Piat et F. J. Vernerey. Separating the contributions of zona pellucida and cytoplasm in the viscoelastic response of human oocytes. Acta Biomaterialia, 85 : 253-262, 2019.


- Joël Abadie, Racha Gana and Emmanuel Piat. Device for mechanically characterizing an element of interest such as an oocyte. French patent INPI FR3064359 - PCT WO/2018/172688.