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
Trinamic's stepper motor package gets you started
August 29, 2014
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, ...
Winged parcel delivery: Google's way
Two-inch Super AMOLED display fits Samsung smartwatch plans
Dutch startup shrinks 60GHz radars, increases precision
Google glass: App measures facial expression
Forget iPhone: 4 megatrends in China’s smartphone market
August 28, 2014
Touch Taiwan, an international touch-panel and optical film exhibition that opened here Wednesday, is exposing some of Asia’s ...
Foldable AMOLED features interactive touch control
Lantronix to fill digital classrooms' printing gap with PAL programme
Circular P-OLED display gives wearable device classic style
- Power Modules: The New Super Power
- Digital Power Management Reduces Energy Costs While Improving System Performance
- Using RF Recording Techniques to Resolve Interference Problems
- How to Protect & Monetize Android Apps
InterviewCEO interview: Tronics' Langlois makes moves in MEMS
Pascal Langlois has been CEO at Tronics for nine months. He discusses plans for the company and directions for the complex and diverse MEMS technology sector.
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, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...Read more
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.