MEMS for biomedical can do far more than simply "sense"
June 15, 2011 // Bill Schweber
Most engineers think of MEMS devices primarily as sensors. This makes sense, because that's where the bulk of the market is, as airbag triggers in cars, pressure sensors, accelerometers, or gyroscopes. But there are many other attractive applications for MEMS technology, as I learned in a conversation with Dr. Jeffrey T. Borenstein, Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Center at Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, MA), while at the TechConnect World Conference & Expo in Boston.
For example, in one project, a silicon wafer is micro-etched with tiny channels to act as a fabrication master. This master is then used to make many "copies", which are then stacked up as layers. The result is an artificial organ to be used as a supplement or even a replacement for the liver, as the blood flows through the many channels. This is clearly much better for dialysis patients, who now must go in to a clinic for blood cleaning three times a week, typically.
Critical note for those who assume that "smaller is better" when it comes to process geometries, and think that dimensions in the tens of nanometers are the needed--similar to those of today's digital ICs keep this in mind: Dr. Borenstein said that the appropriate biomedical-device features are on the order of ten microns, which is three orders of magnitude larger than our state-of-the-art ICs, since blood cells are around 5 microns in diameter.
There are also interesting developments under way for applications in precision, internal medicine delivery using MEMS-based actuators. Presently, a drug must be delivered either by injection, or orally, and thus often causes unavoidable collateral damage to other parts of the body besides the target area. Also, the patient may have problems adhering to the delivery schedule and protocol. Even so, the medicine may not reach the right spot, in the right dose, or with the right timing.All news
Do we need more wireless standards in an M2M world?
April 24, 2014
Matthias Poppel, chief operating officer for EnOcean GmbH, reckons established wireless protocols can gain traction in machine-to-machine ...
Analog helps drive TI's Q1 profit
Strained nanowire has tunable electroptic properties
Can wind turbines generate lightning?
Transaction-level modeling and verification extensions for SystemC
Epistar extends LED collaboration with Intermolecular
April 24, 2014
Intermolecular, Inc. has signed a multi-year extension with Epistar Corp. of their existing collaborative development program ...
Anritsu gives away a handheld spectrum analyzer
Silicon anode technology gears up for production volumes
Cadence breaks into top four in semi IP core ranking
- USB 5V 2.5A Output, 42V Input Synchronous Buck with Cable Drop Compensation
- Measurement applications across multiple test platforms
- Supplying DC input power to string inverters
- Supplying DC input power for HEV testing
InterviewHeartbleed challenges the Internet of Thing
The Heartbleed security bug is a key example of the fundamental security challenge for the Internet of Things says Green Hills Software as it launches a new security group.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Arrow Electronics is giving away ten XMC1200 lighting application kits, worth 100 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Each kit combines Infineon’s brightness and colour control XMC1200 CPU board to drive flicker free LED dimming and colour changing, together with a colour LED card and a white LED card.
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.