/Characterization and modelling of ISFET/chemFET for ingestible applications

Characterization and modelling of ISFET/chemFET for ingestible applications

Research & development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

ingestibles enabling data-driven food and health research
One of the keys to a healthy life, is nutrition. But what exactly constitutes ‘healthy’ food for a specific person? To answer that question, you need to measure and analyze the processes inside the complex human digestive system. Digestive processes are hard to examine. Almost all known methods involve a prolonged endoscopy, which is uncomfortable for the patient and only allows for a relatively short-term observation in one specific place of the stomach. That is why ingestible sensors will benefit patients as well as doctors. Imec is developing technology that will analyze the mechanical, chemical, and electrical processes in the gut.


Promising sensors inside ingestible solutions are the ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) and chemical field-effect transistor (chemFET). These sensors translate an (electro)chemical modality into an electrical modality. If we want to design efficient readout circuits to analyze this electrical output, we want to co-simulate these sensors together with the readout circuitry. For this, an accurate compact model is needed.


The first goal of this thesis is to characterize a given ISFET or chemFET sensor across electrical, chemical, and environmental parameters. This involves lab measurements and data analysis. Secondly, the acquired results will need to be mapped onto a compact model. While lab environment experiments are typically very controllable and reproductive, we foresee a more turbulent environment for the ingestible sensors. As a last and tangent objective, we want to analyze this influence of outside interference on the sensor readout.


For the experiments you will have access to our electronic lab. Data analysis can be done on imec servers with python or Matlab. For simulation and compact modelling (verilog-A), we use the industry standard simulation environment (Cadence Virtuoso).

Content of the thesis:

  • Literature study/theoretical (20%)
  • Lab experiments & data analysis (50%)
  • Compact modelling & simulation (30%)


Type of project: Internship, Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: up to 9 months

Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Biomedical engineering, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Wim Sijbers (Wim.Sijbers@imec.be)

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.