Integrated chip solutions for life sciences and healthcare

As a pioneer in nano-electronics, imec brings smart chip technology to the world of healthcare.


As a pioneer in nanoelectronics, imec brings smart chip technology to the world of healthcare. We leverage our expertise in chip design and technology to develop innovative tools for the life sciences, pharma R&D, clinical diagnostics, therapeutic and surgery, biopharma production and analytical biochemistry industries.

We combine extensive chip manufacturing facilities and bio-lab infrastructure with world-renowned expertise in chip technology, MEMS, bio-electronics, sensors, photonics, imagers, microfluidics, and biosciences. This makes us the ideal development and manufacturing partner for your custom smart biochip solution, from early R&D, design and prototyping to volume manufacturing. We help you bring your innovative product ideas to life.

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.
Our ambition is to build strong relationships with world-class companies who want to bring new technologies to these markets.

Bringing nanotechnology to life sciences

Healthcare is undergoing a revolution driven by increasing costs and the need to find solutions for complicated problems such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Diagnostics need to be more precise and available to everyone in order to improve quality of life. People seek more personalized medicine.

Research and new discoveries in life sciences and biotech have been advancing rapidly and offer solutions with the potential to shape the future of healthcare. Numerous new startups and existing companies are exploring these new methods and are poised to play a crucial role in the future.

These new methods, however, have increasing demands on instrumentation, such as extremely high sensitivity down to the level of single-molecule interaction to analyze DNA and gene expression, single-cell manipulation, massive parallelization, need for miniaturization, more complex implantable devices, and more.

To make these new technologies useful for doctors and patients, they have to be cost effective, reliable and easy-to-use. In many cases, old instrumentation approaches do not apply any more.

Why chip technology?

Over the last few decades, the semiconductor industry has grown exponentially, poised to increase value to the end-user while driving down costs by scaling. The result is the world’s highest standard in precision and high volume production, offering unparalleled complexity and functionality at low prices.

Using chip technology will bring value to your products:

  • Miniaturization and reduced complexity of optics, fluidics and electronics
  • Competitive prices in high-volume manufacturing, enabling disposable solutions
  • Integration of complete workflows resulting in simplified assay testing, reduced human error and improved compliance in the field
  • Unparalleled precision and reproducibility
  • Excellent optical, thermal and chemical material properties
  • Standard, widely-available CMOS-based manufacturing toolset, enabling a mature supply chain 
  • Massive parallelization, allowing extreme speed and accuracy
  • Microfluidics integration resulting in small sample volumes, reduced reagent cost, and higher analysis speed
  • Nanotechnology capabilities enabling molecular interaction

Our offering

  • Contract R&D from early concept all the way to a qualified product. 
  • Fundamental research.
  • Prototyping and manufacturing.
  • Exascience life lab is the joint initiative of Intel, imec, KU Leuven, UGhent, VUB, VIB, Janssen Pharmaceutica with the objective of exploring the application of High Performance Computing (HPC) to challenges 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 function.




R&D for life sciences applications

Learn more about imec’s offering in R&D, including method evaluation, IP licensing, evaluation and creation, prototyping, testing and more.

Fundamental research in life sciences

Explore imec’s fundamental research activities in life sciences domains and applications.

Prototyping and manufacturing

Explore imec’s offering in prototyping, testing, and manufacturing at low and full volumes.

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What can we do for you?

  • We have a broad electronic component IP portfolio for hybrid chip integration.

  • We offer custom product development and in-depth collaboration with your R&D team.

  • Our prototyping service and low-volume chip production support enables you to shorten your time-to-market. 

  • We also offer solutions to transfer to ultra-high volume foundries.

Why work with us?

  • Our infrastructure features a unique combination of advanced cleanrooms for chip development and bio-lab capabilities.

  • Our 30 years of experience in chip technology makes us the ideal partner in the development of your chip-based life sciences application.
  • Our track record in biotech innovation proves imec the world leader in advanced biochip development and production.

  • Our multidisciplinary science and design teams are experts in a variety of fields, including microfluidics, MEMS integration, multiphysics, optics and photonics, biotechnologies, chemistry, nanotechnology and biosensor technologies.

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