Postdoctoral Position to develop microfluidics and active elements for sample preparation on chip
Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.
As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for those passionate talents that make the difference! Currently we are looking for a motivated Postdoctoral position to develop microfluidics and active elements for sample preparation on chip.
Lab on chip technologies have increasingly been used for solve technical problems in the medical diagnostics device field. Innovative microfluidic design and integration is key to developing ground breaking devices as currently there is a lack of devices on the market that use microfluidics to their full potential. One reason for this is the difficultly in integrating a complete analysis system on chip. The majority of current research and commercial devices focus on, for example single cell or single molecule endpoint sensing but still require costly and time consuming sample preparation of clinical samples off chip. This contributes to the poor growth of the microfluidic market.
There currently exists many fluid handling techniques (electrophoresis, electrowetting, acoustics, etc) which have demonstrated how fluids can be handled and manipulated on chip. These techniques should be used over a large area to ensure complete isolation of a target, so therefore large area active components (electrodes, transducers, etc) are needed to scale with this requirement. Filtration and stationary phase chromatography have also been demonstrated on chip. Combining these techniques in a single system provides the possibility to take clinical sample preparation from a costly and time consuming lab procedure and high throughput, automated and user friendly operation on chip.
At imec’s life science department there is a long history of using back end of line fabricated microfluidics in cell and small molecule isolation and detection systems. This research has rapidly expanded in the last years and has contributed to many different sensing platforms. Also, imec’s large area electronics department is very well known within the field of organic electronics such as imagers and displays. The implementation of active components in large area electronics will allow high throughput and low-cost cell and biomolecule sample preparation techniques.
This postdoctoral position will develop microfluidic circuitry in conjunction with active components to enable the fluid handling necessary for sample preparation from a clinical sample to occur on chip. From the simulation of fluidic and electronic components, test devices will be fabricated and assembled in imec’s cleanroom. Fabrication, testing and integration of individual components will lead a complete device that will isolate a specific analyte (or family of analytes) for biosensing further downstream. The role will be supported with imec’s life science and large area electronics departments which have expertise in microfluidics, processing, biosensing and thin film electronics.
In this position, you will:
- Perform electrical and microfluidic device design and modelling;
- Select and characterize materials and develop large-area manufacturing processes using imec’s cleanroom facility;
- Troubleshoot processing and fabrication challenges;
- Design, fabricate and test demonstration devices with increasing functionality;
- Automate test setups that include mechanical, electrical and optical components;
- Design and execute test plans together with application scientists;
- Bring ideas from concept to proof-of-principle;
- Work closely with an interdisciplinary team of engineers and biologists.
This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).
- You have a PhD in physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, chemical or mechanical engineering or equivalent major.
- You have hands-on experience with electrical and fluidic measurements.
- Skills in finite element modelling (COMSOL, ANSYS) is a strong asset.
- You speak fluent English and are a team player.
- Experience with microfluidics and/or microfabrication.
- Experience with laboratory programming such as Matlab or LabVIEW is a plus.
We offer a challenging position for two years in an advanced high-tech environment and in an international, interdisciplinary team. Our flexible, progressive and informal working environment offers you a range of possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. This is your opportunity to contribute to the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow. imec supports and guides you in this process; not only with words but with concrete actions. Through imec.academy, 'our corporate university', we offer various training possibilities. Your valuable contribution and that of your colleagues make imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of an attractive and competitive salary.