/Expertise/Life sciences

Life sciences

As a pioneer in nanoelectronics, imec brings the power of chip technology to the world of healthcare.

The value of chip technology for life sciences

Research and new discoveries in life sciences and biotech have been advancing rapidly, offering solutions with the potential to shape the future of healthcare. Numerous start-ups and existing companies are exploring new methodologies and are poised to play a crucial role in the future.

These new methods pose increasing demands on instrumentation. They require extremely high sensitivity (down to the level of single-molecule interaction to analyze DNA and gene expression), single-cell manipulation, massive parallelization, miniaturization, and more complex implantable devices.

Silicon chip technology will bring value to your products through:

  • miniaturization and reduced complexity of optics, fluidics and electronics
  • integration of complete workflows, resulting in simplified assay testing, reduced human error and improved compliance
  • unparalleled precision and reproducibility
  • excellent optical, thermal and chemical material properties
  • standard, widely available CMOS-based chip manufacturing toolsets, enabling a mature supply chain
  • massive parallelization, allowing extreme speed and accuracy
  • microfluidics integration, resulting in small sample volumes, reduced reagent costs and higher analysis speeds
  • nanotechnology capabilities enabling molecular interaction
  • competitive prices in high-volume manufacturing, enabling disposable solutions

Why imec for life science technologies?

Imec leverages its expertise in chip design and technology to develop innovative tools for life sciences, pharma R&D, clinical diagnostics, therapeutics and surgery, biopharma production and analytical biochemistry industries.

We combine:

  • extensive chip processing facilities, including a 200-mm and 300-mm cleanroom
  • a state-of-the-art bio-lab infrastructure for surface and bioassay characterization, biosensor set-ups, DNA research, ...
  • world-renowned expertise in chip technology, MEMS, bioelectronics, sensors, photonics, imagers, microfluidics, biosciences and high-performance computing

We work with strong, multidisciplinary teams of world-class scientists. That makes us the ideal development and manufacturing partner for your custom smart biochip solutions, from early R&D, design and prototyping to volume manufacturing.

We help you to bring your innovative product ideas to life.

Technology platforms

Coronavirus breath sampler

An easy way to determine contagiousness for COVID-19.

Nanopore technology

The driver behind sequencing 4.0


Detecting more than 100,000 biomarkers in less than 5 minutes

PCR on chip

Accelerated PCR-based tests on Silicon in minutes

High-throughput cytometry and cell sorting (FACS)

Sort up to 30 million cells per minute on one cm2


A whole lab in one cm2

Micro-electrode arrays

For high throughput, multi-modal cell interfacing

Neural probes

The new golden standard in neuroscience

Smart implantable devices

Minimally invasive implants for extremely accurate stimulation of nerves

Lens-free imaging

Continuously monitoring of life processes without disturbing them

DNA sequence analysis software

Streamline your genomic research with elPrep.

Application domains


Pushing the boundaries of assay performance

Genomics and sequencing 4.0

Exploiting the power of Silicon nanotechnology in genomics

Cell and gene therapy

Silicon paving the way for cell and gene therapies


Raising the golden standard for neuroscience, discovery and electroceuticals

Medical imaging

Advanced imaging technology for enhanced and compact medical-grade imaging

Smart medical devices

Insertible, digestable and Implantable Medical Devices

Process Analytical Technologies

Use chip technology to shift to fast and accurate online and inline testing

Work with us

Today, imec is the world’s number one player in world-class product-minded R&D, prototyping and production of silicon and nanotechnology for life sciences and healthcare. We work with world-class companies, from ambitious start-ups to established industry leaders, who strive to bring new technologies to healthcare and life sciences.

  • Contract R&D from early concept all the way to a qualified product.
  • Prototyping and manufacturing

Strategic Research Initiatives:

  • Exascience life lab focuses on providing software solutions for data-intensive and high-performance computing problems, primarily in life sciences.
  • Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders (NERF) is a collaborative academic research initiative launched by imec, VIB and KU Leuven that combines molecular, cellular and viral biology, genetics, microscopy, electrophysiology and behavioral studies, with the ultimate goal of gaining a thorough understanding of brain functionality.
  • Mission Lucidity combines the biomedical, clinical and technological expertise of its founding partners  - KU Leuven, UZ Leuven, VIB and imec – to accelerate medical discovery towards a future without dementia. 

Spin offs:

  • miDIAGNOSTICS, a unique life sciences venture set-up by imec and Johns Hopkins University, builds the lab test of the future: a silicon-based nanofluidic processor embedded in a low-cost test card.
  • Indigo develops the next-generation Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems that eliminate the need to wear anything on the body.
  • bioSensource aims to revolutionize drug discovery through electronics-based measurement devices and data analysis software.
  • Trinean (acquired by Unchained Labs) developed a system that can measure up to 96 high concentration protein samples in 5 minutes.
  • Epilog brings advanced EEG diagnostic technology to clinical practice – as a service.
  • Spectricity develops low-cost, miniaturized, integrated optical spectral sensing solutions for biomedical and health applications, agriculture, food analysis, and consumer markets.
  • Pulsify Medical, a joint imec and KU Leuven spin-off, focuses on the development of wearable ultrasound patches.

ANSYS Academic Program Partner

Imec is an ANSYS academic program partner.


At imec bright people build a bright future.

You could be one of these builders. Whether you are an engineer or an operator, a consultant or PhD student, we need a versatile group of people to help us create positive change.

Join the forward thinkers

Related jobs

Postdoctoral Researcher Brain-on-chip
Construction and interrogation of neural circuits with single cell resolution on high-density MEA chips
Postdoctoral Researcher Electrotomographic imaging
Develop new ways of imaging cells and tissues by electrical impedance tomography using imec’s high density electrode arrays
Imaging cells and tissues by electrical impedance tomography using high density active electrode array chips
Use the power of high-density active electrode arrays to develop novel imaging methods for in-body imaging
Organoid monitoring and cell identification through 3D lens-free imaging
Explore novel 3D cell imaging methods for organoid monitoring
Redundant ultrasound Array for high precision medical diagnostics
Develop a sensor fusion technique for a reliable and precise next-generation biomedical diagnosis
Acoustic meta-surfaces, from ultrasound to phonons
Manipulating acoustic waves and phonons on-chip by designing surfaces beyond their natural material properties opens perspective towards advanced acoustic tweezing as well as chip cooling
Active microfluidic platform for automated sample preparation
Leverage advanced MEMS/NEMS technologies at imec to create active microfluidic circuitries
Exploring in vitro neuronal circuit dynamics and connectivity patterns by machine learning techniques
Use state of the art neural interface microchips and novel algorithms to decipher complex in vitro neuronal circuits
High-resolution lens-free fluorescence imaging based on wavefront shaping
Towards compact high resolution fluorescence microscopy.
Spatial omics using ultra-high-resolution electrically synthesized DNA arrays
The proposed topic takes advantage of both CMOS scaling and the recent boost in next-generation sequencing technologies to enable a truly innovative, high-end biological application that ultimately allows digitizing pathology and which has the potential to revolutionize the use o
Wide bandgap Integrated Photonics Platform from UV to NIR
AlxGa1-xN complete material system for active and tunable integrated photonics from UV to NIR
2D Materials integration in a CMOS flow to enable mass-manufacturable devices
integrating 2D films in application relevant fabrication flows, focusing on electrical biosensors and/or photonic devices
Ultrasound circuits for wireless powering of ingestible smart pills
Your ultrasound array to empower tomorrow’s ingestibles!
Large area droplet manipulation and analysis for lifescience applications
Your device to enable early detection of cancer!
Mind mapping with acoustic tags
Develop a non-invasive technology to unravel brain activity
Sr. Strategic Partnership Manager, Health (East Coast Region)
Establishing and growing strategic relationships with new and existing partners outside of the semiconductor industry such as health.
Experimental Biophotonic Researcher
PhD in the field of (bio)physics, chemistry, nanotechnology, or engineering eager to shape tomorrow’s health care technologies.
Photonic Expert
Design and modeling of integrated photonic systems
Postdoctoral Researcher biofet device modeling engineer
Creating SPICE-level compact models for nanopore field effect transistors (NPFETs) and gate-exposed FinFETs (BIOFETs)
Postdoc: Hardware spike detection and data compression for next generation CMOS neural probes
Integrate massive multi-channel feature extraction algorithms on chip that enable clinical translation of next-generation neural probes
Postdoctoral Researcher High-throughput chip-based fluorescence microscopy
Integrated photonics enabling a completely new way of doing microscopy.
PostDoc Miniaturized hermetic and flexible packaging for future electronic implants
Develop the next generation of electronic implant technology
Postdoctoral Researcher Switchable microfluidic MEMS for biosensing
Building an integrated microfluidic platform
Senior Process Integration Engineer PIM
Interested to drive the development and low volume manufacturing of EUV sensors for current and future generations of EUV lithography tools ?
Nano-scale Field Effect Transistor for Biomolecule Sensing
Explore bio-sensing with nano-scale sensors.
Pattern Formation in Curved Space for Photonic Chip Design
Enabling high-resolution on-chip lens-free microscopy
High-resolution on-chip fluorescence imaging using photonic integrated circuits
Integrated photonics pushing the boundaries of fluorescence microscopy
Progressing pore shrink methods for enhanced membrane performance
There's plenty of room with bottom-up. Be part of creating imec's next generation life science devices.
Fabrication and characterization of suitable breast phantoms for photoacoustic imaging
Can imec's photoacoustic imaging revolutionize breast cancer screening and as such save lives?
Using Organic solvents to improve the capture of nucleic acids.
Creating an electric alternative to selective retain DNA and RNA on surfaces
Pixel-parallel ultra-low-power slope-based ADC design for large array chemical sensor readout ASICs
Towards 10 dollar per genome
Development of a miniaturized glucose and lactate sensor array for wireless bioreactor monitoring
Be part of deploying novel CMOS/biosensing hybrid-technology to enable new biomanufacturing trends
Magnetic-based localization of free-moving and ingestible biomedical devices
Developing and validating in-body localization solutions for biomedical devices in a wearable form factor
Photonic and biological characterization of an on-chip waveguide biosensor
Take your first steps into the world of photonics
Dielectrophoretic capture of biomolecules
Explore the cutting edge where biology and engineering converge
Monolithic integration of optical sensor s and ultra-low-power readouts for implantable bio-chemical sensing devices
By part of deploying CMOS technology in small bioreactor applications
Experimental implementation and optimization of EFGF in microfluidic chips
Contribute towards implementing the promising concept of EFGF in a microfluidics format
Inverse design of photonic integrated components for biosensing
Computational design of integrated photonic components for medical applications
Development of a 3-axis MEMS energy harvester for biomedical applications
Explore the innovative power sources for biomedical applications
Acoustic design for ultrasound power delivery for biomedical implants
Design and optimize an acoustic wireless power transfer link for miniaturized biomedical implants.
Ultrasound imaging through bones: feasibility study
Improve ultrasound imaging technique with simulation tools
Flexible Proximity-Triaxial Force Micro Sensor: Design, Modelling and Simulation
Development of innovative proximity-tactile sensors for soft robotics technologies
Development of a standing wave based acoustic micropump for lab on chip applications
Develop an acoustic micropump to solve size scaling issue of micropump in lab on chip system for biological assay applications
Effect of element properties randomness on the pMUT array acoustic performance
Harness process uncertainty for ultrasonic devices with better certainty
Modelling and extraction of anisotropic piezoelectric materials
Innovative approaches for piezoelectric/ferroelectric material characterization
Software Engineer
As software developer you will join a multidisciplinary team that has expertise in system engineering, mechanics, electronics, optics, software, product development and quality systems.
Systems Architect for multi sensing systems
Steer the prototyping and product development of novel multi sensor and fluidic systems
FPGA Development Engineer
Develop (design and implement) the code/firmware to drive the control electronics that are at the heart of many of our systems: control signals for imagers, laser drivers, cell sorters, ...
Industrialization engineer - Electronics
Set up and control the industrialization phases of the Product/System development: Proof of Concept – Prototype – Qualification – Production
Systems Architect for imaging and photonic systems
Support the prototyping and product development of novel imaging and photonic systems
System engineer for imaging and photonic systems
Support the prototyping and product development of novel imaging and photonic systems
Nanofluidics with nanopore FET device sensors
Pushing the limits of control of ion transport in liquids at the nanoscale 
Photonics Process integration engineer
Come join us as a #photonics process integration engineer to translate abstract concepts to real products in market.
In-flow cell electroporation with single-cell level control
Improved cell transfection for personalized regenerative medicine
Wireless Powering of Brain Implants with Ultrasound
Provide power to operate the small silicon embedded in the sea of "little gray cells"
Enabling advanced optical imaging with photonic integrated circuits
Integrated photonics pushing the boundaries of microscopy
Towards a fully-implantable wireless neuro-modulation system
Enabling future chronic clinical neural interfaces
Researcher Advanced Micro-Physiological Systems / Organ-on-Chip
Developing multi-cellular pre-clinical models and organ-on-chip platforms.
Advanced modelling of nanofluidic/nanoelectronic field effect devices
Analysing and designing next generation devices for single molecule genomics & proteomics
R&D Engineer on wet processing
Ready to set up wet processes on the state of the art 300 mm tools? Join us!
Characterization of multi-cellular Organs-On-Chip systems
Help develop our OoC platform to build better pre-clinical models.
System Test Engineer
Take care of testing for ground-breaking sensor systems that enable sustainable solutions in Health, Agri & Food.
Junior electronic system architect for biomedical devices
Design, implementation and validation of low-power, high-quality electronic systems development for healthcare and life science applications, allowing you to be at the forefront of highly innovative research tracks within the healthcare space at imec.
Funded Project Writer - Digital Transformation
Als ‘Funded Project Writer - Digital Transformation’ help je ons om toekomstgerichte projectvoorstellen uit te werken die zich bevinden op het kruispunt van technologie en maatschappelijke impact!
High resolution volumetric lithography of complex 3D polymeric and biomaterial structures
With the imec team and university collaborators, the student explores, selects, designs, builds, and tests workable imec-based solutions for bioprinting and printing biophotonics using projection imaging and holography fused with super-resolution imaging chemistry. 
Microfluidics Designer Life Science Technologies
We are looking for an engineer with a strong technical background in the field of microfluidics with experience in microfluidic design and simulations for life sciences application. We are looking for a highly motivated and creative colleague to work on next-generation technologi
Process Engineer Wafer Bonding & Assembly
The Process Engineer Wafer Bonding & Assembly ensures that the tools used in imec’s Life Sciences, MEMS, 3D, Logic and Memory teams are running smoothly and efficiently.
Tape-out engineer
As our Tape-out and lay-out engineer, you will play a key role to support IC designs that involve advanced technologies for logic scaling, Si Photonics, Imagers, Life Science, GaN Power and other specialties.
Photonic Scientific Lead
Scientific lead researcher for photonics in Sense and Actuate topics.
Communication specialist
Help ons om de maatschappelijke impact van onze onderzoeksprojecten naar een breed publiek te brengen.
Job opportunities

Subscribe to our thematic newsletters

Sign up