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25 Most Interesting Medical MEMS and Sensors Projects


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This presentation outlines some of the most exciting medical MEMS and sensors devices that were introduced to the marketplace in the past few years. Some of the devices are already in volume production, and some are still being commercialized.

Published in: Technology
  • One line chopped off in my comment:
    Santini et al, Nature 397, 1999
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  • Surprised to not see the MicroCHIPS, Inc. device: implantable drug delivery, 100 hermetically sealed reservoirs (DRIE-etched into a silicon chip), electrothermal rupture of the metal cap, remote release via telemetry, demonstrated in clinical trials:
    Maloney et al, J Controlled Release 109, 2005
    Prescott and Lipka et al, Nature Biotechnol 24, 2006
    Farra et al, Science Trans Med 4, 2012

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25 Most Interesting Medical MEMS and Sensors Projects

  1. 1. Tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material Accurate glucose monitoring for diabetics using bodily fluids, i.e. tears Prototypes can generate one reading per second Experimenting with LEDs to serve as early warning for the wearer Smart Contact Lens GoogleX 2Source: Google X
  2. 2. NoninvasiveBloodMonitor UCSD Digital tattoo monitors blood below the skin Tattoos are needle-less, sensor-laden transdermal patch and are painless for the user Tiny sensors “ink” can read blood levels of sodium, glucose, kidney function, and electrolyte balance from a smartphone Prototypes contain probes on the wireless, battery-powered chip to continually test up to a hundred different samples Transdermal patch or “digital tattoo” Source: 9TO5MAC 3
  3. 3. Wearable electronic head-impact monitoring patch Patch contains MEMS motion sensors, microcontroller, low-power radio transmitter, and power management circuitry A cloud-based system combines athlete concussion history, pre-season neurocognitive function, balance, and coordinate-performance data to create a baseline for comparison after a suspected injury event ConcussionSensor STMicro&X2Biosystems Source: ST Microelectronics 4
  4. 4. Electronic pill to treat gastrointestinal cancer An ingestible pill is swallowed by the patient, finds its way to the tumor, dispenses the drugs and passes harmlessly from the body Smart pill contains reservoir for drug supply, fluid pump for drug delivery, pH sensor (for navigation), thermometer, microprocessor and radio for communication Source: Popular Science 5 IngestibleDrugDeliverySystem Phillips
  5. 5. Proteus Digital Health is the first company to receive FDA clearance for an ingestible biomedical sensor that monitors medication adherence Embedded into a pill, the sensor is activated by stomach fluid, then transmits a signal through the body to a skin patch Indicates whether a patient has ingested medication or not Source: Gizmag IngestibleBiomedicalSensor Proteus 6
  6. 6. Micropump devices based on skin contact actuation for drug delivery Actuation mechanism only requires body heat, no other external power Induced actuation can result to a gradient of 100 Pa/oC, sufficient to drive liquid drug through microneedle arrays Prototypes exhibit low fabrication costs, employment of biocompatible materials and battery-less operation Suitable for single- or multiple-use transdermal drug dispensers MicroneedleDrugDeliverySystem Purdue Source: Purdue University 7
  7. 7. Laser-driven, handheld spectrometer for analyzing food Scanned information is sent to a cloud-based application that examines the results Data is accumulated from many users to develop warning algorithms for the allergic, vegetarians and other selective diets Can measure:  Chemicals  Gluten  Dyes  Allergens  Neurotoxins  Molds  Bacteria DietarySpectrometerSensor TellSpec Source: Financial Post 8
  8. 8. WearableUVExposureSensor Sunfriend Wristband for monitoring UV exposure Allows user to maximize vitamin D production while reducing the risk of sun over-exposure and skin cancer LED indicators light up as UV exposure accumulates and flash once the safe limit has been reached UV Sensor Source: Gizmag 9
  9. 9. IntraocularPressureSensor Sensimed &ST STMicroelectronics teamed up with Switzerland’s SensimedAG to develop a smart contact lens calledTriggerfish Contact lens can measure, monitor, and control intra-ocular pressure levels for patients and catch early cases of glaucoma The sensor itself, a MEMS strain gage pressure sensor, is mounted on a flexible substrate MEMS strain gage Source: Electronic Design 10
  10. 10. MEMS enabled implantable technology for hearing restoration Eliminates electronics outside the ear associated with reliability issues and social stigma Accelerometer-based microphone successfully tested in cadaver ear canals Prototype measures 2.5 x 6.2mm and weighs 25mg MEMSMicrophone University of Utah Wire bonds Microcontroller MEMS microphone Source: IEEE Spectrum 11
  11. 11. Micro-mirrors enabling handheld ophthalmic swept source OCT model for retinal 3D imaging Replaces bulky galvanometer scanners in a handheld OCT probe for primary care physicians Ultrahigh-speed two-axis optical beam steering by use of the compact, gimbal-less MEMS mirrors MEMS actuator with a 2.4 mm bonded mirror and an angular reach of +6° Low power consumption of <100mW including the MEMS actuator driver Retinal3DImaging Mirrorcle MEMS mirror on PCB substrate MEMS mirror in leaded IC package Source: OCT News 12
  12. 12. Cellphone-based rapid-diagnostic-test (RDT) reader platform Lateral flow immuno-chromatographic assays and similar tests to sense the presence of a target analyte in a sample Device connects to the camera on a cell phone and weighs only 65 grams Various types of RDTs can be inserted to be imaged in reflection or transmission modes under light emitting diode (LED) based illumination Source: Royal Society of Chemistry CellPhoneDiagnosticsPlatform UCLA 13
  13. 13. Organ-on-a-Chip JohnsHopkinsUniversity Silicon substrate for living human cells in a controlled environment Emulate how cells function inside a living human body Replace controversial and costly animal testing Lab-on-a-chip: a cost effective end to animal testing Source: Sound Color Vibration 14
  14. 14. CerebralPressureSensor Fraunhofer Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering has developed a sensor to monitor cerebral pressure that can lead to dementia Pressure changes in the brain can be measured and transmitted a reading device outside the patient’s body Operating at very low power, the sensor module is powered wirelessly by the reading device Pressure diaphragm Source: Gizmag 15
  15. 15. FDA approved, implantable micro device for monitoring and treating aneurisms, a leading cause of heart failure RF-addressed wireless pressure sensor are powered by inductive coupling and do not need batteries MEMS pressure sensor and wireless antenna are inserted near the heart with a catheter Blood-pressure readings are sent to a wireless scanner for monitoring Pressure changes deflect the transducer’s diaphragm and change the LC circuit’s resonant frequency Source: Electronic Design ImplantableAneurismMonitor CardioMEMS 16
  16. 16. Fully implantable within the brain Allow natural studies of brain activity in moving subjects and represents a potential major step toward cord-free control of advanced prosthetics that move with the power of thought Wireless charging Prototypes transmitted brain activity data wirelessly for more than a year in early stage tests Source: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering ImplantableBrainActivitySensor NIBIB,NIH 17 Wireless, implantable brain sensor, shown next to a U.S. quarter for size comparison.
  17. 17. ImplantableBloodAnalyzerChip EPFL Source: Implantable Devices Tiny, implantable device for instantaneous blood analysis Wireless data transmission to a doctor Applications include monitoring general health, and tailor drug delivery to a patient’s unique needs Includes five sensors and a radio transmitter Powered via inductive coupling from a battery patch worn outside the body 18
  18. 18. Acoustic receiver Antenna/sensor PDMS membrane Ferrite RF radiation Acoustic wave Rectifier buried in PDMS Implantable miniature pressure sensor, powered by an acoustically actuated cantilever from Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University No battery required as acoustic waves in the 200-500 hertz range cause cantilever to vibrate, scavenging energy to power pressure sensor and electronics Source: Popular Science ImplantablePressureSensor Purdue 19
  19. 19. WearableSkinSensor KTH Source: Chemistry 2011 Bio-patch for measuring and collecting vital information through the skin Inexpensive, versatile and comfortable to wear for the user Data being gathered depends on where it is placed on the body: • Chest: electrocardiography (ECG) • Skull: measure brainwaves (EEC) • Forearm: measure muscle response to stimulation from the nervous system (EMG) Skin sensor on flex substrate 20
  20. 20. Implantable MEMS drug delivery system Device can deliver a vasoconstrictor agent on demand to injured soldiers to prevent hemorrhagic shock Other applications include medical implants for cancer detection and monitoring Implant can provide physicians and patients real-time information on the efficacy of treatment regimes MEMSDrugDeliveryDevices CPRL Source: MIT 21
  21. 21. Wireless shoe insert to help diabetics manage peripheral nerve damage Insole collects data of where wearers are putting pressure on their feet and transmits wirelessly a wristwatch-type display or a smartphone Prevent amputations that often stem from diabetic foot ulcers PressureSensorforDamagedNerves Orpyx Source: Mobile Health News Wireless transmission from insole to wrist watch using ANT+ 22
  22. 22. Endoscope using MEMS scanning mirror for gastrointestinal and urological imaging Alternative to biopsies in cancer detection A laser beam pointed at the mirror is precisely deflected and steered by the scanning mirror to reach a target point EndoscopeProbe Santec Source: Santec Optical Fiber Sheath Collimator Focus Lens MEMS Scanner Ferrule PhotovoltaicCell Beam Splitter ϕ 5 mm λ 1.5 um λ 1.3 um 23
  23. 23. Microfluidic MEMS for diabetes treatment Watertight pump mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion Controlled by a dedicated smartphone device incorporating a BGM (blood- glucose meter) InsulinMicropump Debiotech Source: Micronews 24
  24. 24. Micromachined surgical tools; silicon MEMS tweezers Used for minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedures where diagnosis, monitoring, or treatment of diseases are performed, performing with very small incisions MEMS based microsurgical tools is a key enabling technology for angioplasty, catheterization, endoscopy, laparoscopy, and neurosurgery MicrosurgicalTools Microfabrica Source: ElectrolQ 25
  25. 25. Biomedical engineers atWashington University have developed a custom- fitted, implantable device for treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders Working prototypes were developed on inexpensive 3D printers The 3D elastic membrane is made of a soft, flexible, silicon material precisely shaped to match the outer layer of the heart ImplantableHeartSensor Wash.University Source: Kurzweil 3D elastic membrane integrated with a heart 26
  26. 26. AboutUs RogueValley Microdevices was founded in 2003 and is dedicated to providing fabrication services for the MEMS and microelectronics industry Located in Medford, Oregon we maintain a 200mm MEMS device foundry supporting our customers from the early R&D phase through pilot production We are dedicated to providing foundry services for the MEMS, nanotech, and biotech industries. Our wafer processing modules are designed to handle silicon wafer substrates as well as a variety of other materials such as quartz, glass, sapphire, and ceramic wafers 27
  27. 27. INDUSTRIES Semiconductor MEMS and nanotechnology Sustainable technology Biotechnology Optoelectronics Telecommunications MEMSFoundry CUSTOMERS Device Manufacturers Government Universities Equipment manufacturers Materials distributors Research and development Government Academia Emerging tech R&D Proof of concept Large Company Product development Small R&D projects Start up company R&D small batch device fabrication Midsize company Process optimization Pilot production Rogue Valley Micro MEMS Foundry We provide manufacturing services to a worldwide customer base that spans many high-tech industries 28
  28. 28. Our Services Full Service MEMS Foundry with dedicated 200mm Production LinePhoto mask layout MEMS fabrication on CMOS wafers Suspended membrane fabrication Front – to – back alignment I-line stepper lithography Precious metal deposition and patterning Multi-layer metal films including Au/Sn solder Reactively sputtered dielectric and Resistive Materials LPCVD and PECVD dielectric film deposition KOH andTMAH silicon etch Metal liftoff processing Polyimide processing PROCESS CAPABILITIES 29
  29. 29. One Stop Shop vs. Pit Stop RogueValley Micro Design but no manufacturing capability Thin Films Deposition Photo Patterning Etch Design Review Device Singulation Fabless Customer Fab Short Customer Design but limited manufacturing capability Final Inspection Flexible equipment set Small batch sizes Creative and experienced engineers Ability to work with non-standard materials Great customer service Willing to provide data Research and Development We are not too big for small R&D projects 30 R&DDeviceManufacturing
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