As it contains elements of complete digital impedance meter, the AD5933 integrated circuit is an interesting solution for impedance measurements. However, its use for measurements in a wide range of impedances and frequencies requires an additional digital and analogue circuitry. This paper presents the design and performance of a simple impedance meter based on the AD5933 IC. Apart from the AD5933 IC it consists of a clock generator with a programmable prescaler, a novel DC offset canceller for the excitation signal based on peak detectors and a current to voltage converter with switchable conversion ratios. The authors proposed a simple method for choosing the measurement frequency to minimalize errors resulting from the spectral leakage and distortion caused by a lack of an anti-aliasing filter in the DDS generator. Additionally, a novel method for the AD5933 IC calibration was proposed. It consists in a mathematical compensation of the systematic error occurring in the argument of the value returned from the AD5933 IC as a result. The performance of the whole system is demonstrated in an exemplary measurement.
The suitability of low-cost impedance sensors for microbiological purposes and biofilm growth monitoring was evaluated. The sensors with interdigitated electrodes were fabricated in PCB and LTCC technologies. The electrodes were golden (LTCC) or gold-plated (PCB) to provide surface stability. The sensors were used for monitoring growth and degradation of the reference ATCC 15442 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain biofilm in invitro setting. During the experiment, the impedance spectra of the sensors were measured and analysed using electrical equivalent circuit (EEC) modelling. Additionally, the process of adhesion and growth of bacteria on a sensor’s surface was assessed by means of the optical and SEM microscopy. EEC and SEM microscopic analysis revealed that the gold layer on copper electrodes was not tight, making the PCB sensors susceptible to corrosion while the LTCC sensors had good surface stability. It turned out that the LTCC sensors are suitable for monitoring pseudomonal biofilm and the PCB sensors are good detectors of ongoing stages of biofilm formation.