/Monolithic integration of optical sensor s and ultra-low-power readouts for implantable bio-chemical sensing devices

Monolithic integration of optical sensor s and ultra-low-power readouts for implantable bio-chemical sensing devices

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

By part of deploying CMOS technology in small bioreactor applications

Bioreactors are used in many industrial biomanufacturing processes and are especially important in both the development and manufacturing of drugs and vaccines. The global pandemic situation has once again brought to the broader attention the importance of effective, high-yield, and cost-efficient biological manufacturing processes. One of the biggest challenges in this field is to ensure that cultures growing inside the bioreactors thrive. This requires providing an optimal environment with all the nutrients in the correct quantities and concentrations. Of course, as the cultures grow, these nutrient needs change over time. One of the highest costs in bio-manufacturing processing is quality assurance, which includes adequate monitoring of the processes taking place inside the bioreactor. This involves monitoring parameters like temperature, conductivity, pH, biomass, cell growth, etc. To advance the field, optical sensing in the form of LED array backscattering and/or fluorescent techniques is a promising research path. This non-invasive measurement technique can provide online data about biomass, cell growth, and culture.


One of the main challenges is building high performance, low power, low form-factor IC. For example, the optical readout chain might consist of TIA, ADC, and LED drivers. Another possible direction is monolithic integration of CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) with readout Analog front-end.


This internship project aims to design a small form factor, low power, high-performance readout IC for bioreactor applications. The student will be involved in modeling, Analog/mixed-signal IC design, layout, and measurement. In light of the specific technical expertise of this work, students considering applying should reach out to the daily supervisor first to align on the scope and required background.



Specific thesis objectives:

  • Study and understand the background of Bioreactor, TIA, ADC, and CIS technology.
  • Investigate and build the model of the readout IC.
  • Do IC design and simulation to meet the design targets.
  • Layout and tapeout the chip.
  • Validation and measurement.


  • Interest and enthusiasm in analog microelectronics and circuits.
  • Knowledge of MATLAB/Verilog-a modeling.
  • Knowledge of Cadence/analog IC design.
  • Knowledge of layout.
  • Knowledge of measurement.




Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6-9 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering

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

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