IMEC, SPTS team on bioMEMS

October 16, 2013 //By Peter Clarke
Research institute IMEC has received an Omega C2L Rapier deep reactive ion etch (DRIE) tool from chipmaking equipment supplier SPTS Technologies to research the creation of nanometer-scale structures for bioMEMS.

IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has s vision that micro- and nanotechnologies will be enablers in medical research, diagnosis and treatment and is developing components for sensing, sorting and measuring techniques as the basis of future life science tools.

DRIE, which is used to create high-aspect ratio structures in conventional MEMS, can be used in a similar way in bioMEMS to make microfluidic channels, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chambers, mixers and filters. IMEC is developing lab-on-chip technology for fast single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection in human DNA and a micrometer-scale system for detecting tumor cells present in the human blood stream.

Deniz Sabuncuoglu Tezcan, who is leading an IMEC team on novel bioMEMS components, said the Rapier DRIE system was chosen after extensive tests. "BioMEMS is one of the new frontiers of the MEMS industry and will deliver huge benefits to our health and wellbeing," said Kevin Crofton, chief operating officer at SPTS (Newport, Wales), in a statement.

Deep silicon-etched structures with SPTS’ Omega c2L Rapier tool at IMEC. Source: SPTS.

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