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/Job opportunities/Post doc Smart pills with breakable membranes for bio-sensing (CSC)

Post doc Smart pills with breakable membranes for bio-sensing (CSC)

Research & development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Develop imec’s smart pills platform, with one time use breakable membranes, for biosensing

Post doc Smart pills with breakable membranes for bio-sensing (CSC2021-043)

Project description

Please note that this project is in the framework of Chinese Scholarship Counsel (CSC)-IMEC-KU Leuven Scholarships. Please read the requirements before applying here.

This postdoc will help to lay a ground-breaking foundation for solving one of the most difficult challenges in in-line biosensing i.e. a universal smart little cube, that can be thrown into any bioreactor encompassing biosensing, on-board read-out and low-power communication circuits. The focus of this project will be on the development of an array of innovative, programmable, one-time use membrane valves above biosensors. When a membrane is disrupted, a single microwell for sensing becomes available, and the bioliquids meet the bioreceptors on the sensor so that sensing can start. During the postdoc, we will design, fabricate and characterize these electronically addressable single-use membrane structures on top of small cavities (eg. 50-100 μm). Membrane designs and actuation will be modeled (e.g. Matlab, Comsol, Ansys, etc.) to optimize their electrical and thermal properties and estimate the required electric current, voltage generated heat, their size, full array design and operation, and will guide the fabrication process (e.g. metal stack, thickness, mechanical stability). Intensive effort will be put in the fabrication of the dense array of membrane structures. All the fabrication work will be performed on 200 mm silicon wafers in imec´s state-of-the art processing line. Considering the membrane properties and designs as well as future integration scheme, a feasible process flow and biocompatible material stack will be defined. The mechanical and thermal properties of the membrane will be experimentally evaluated before finalizing the process for the complete device. Characterization of the breakable membrane includes electrical, thermal & mechanical tests in air, initially and in water, buffer and culture media. Actuation parameters will be optimized, (e.g. electric current, voltage, power consumption); the membrane behavior upon actuation will be studied to establish rupture size and timing, and heat dissipation. The experimental and simulation results will be compared with the simulation data to validate the model.


Promotor: Liesbet Lagae (KU Leuven)

Daily advisor: Aurelie Humbert (imec)

Manager: Simone Severi (imec)

Required background: Material engineering, mechanical or electrical engineering, Physics

Type of work: 30% modelling/simulations, 40% experimental/process, 30% characterization/measurements

Please note that this project is in the framework of Chinese Scholarship Counsel (CSC)-IMEC-KU Leuven Scholarships. Please read the requirements before applying here.

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