Integration of IC technology

Smart OOC platform, co-operation between Imec and Micronit

Integration of IC technology

Achieving more complexity on a chip, and thus creating a more valuable product, is a constant quest for all players in high tech. Increasingly powerful technical components that need an ever smaller area, enable a higher level of integration on a chip. This also applies to the microfluidics industry. By integrating IC components, the relatively simple lateral flow system of the past has grown to perform far more complex assays. Integration of readout systems allows the realization of autonomous, stand-alone devices.

On-chip complexity, in which microfluidics is combined with IC, is a revolutionary development, especially for the IVD market. COVID-19 has put IVD in the spotlight and created rapid awareness of the importance of this sector. This creates opportunities for the entire supply chain, not only with regard to the devices that are currently being produced to conquer the virus but also in the development of upcoming products for this market.

In the huge CMOS industry, highly standardized building blocks are processed. This is quite a difference from the microfluidics industry, where mostly flexible and dedicated solutions are devised. Here lies a brilliant opportunity to bring these two together in combining the generic processes and standardization regime of the CMOS world with the customer-specific solutions that the Point-of-Care industry is used to. Through smart CMOS post-processing, integration, and assembly techniques, the fluidic and the electrical domain can be integrated into a complete unit. This way, you can have the best of both worlds. In particular, these innovative integrated platforms achieve break-throughs in the life sciences and health tech industries.

Micronit is an experienced partner in the fabrication of applications with IC/microfluidics integration, for example for DNA synthesis, DNA sequencing, or single-cell analysis. Innovations originating from the data transfer or telecommunications markets also find their way to life science and medical applications. For example, photonics, that allows observing molecular details in cells and tissues. This technology has found its way into medical diagnostics by biological and chemical sensing. But even newer opportunities are on the horizon. For example the detection of volatile organic compounds. Integrating this emerging technology into a complex platform offers completely new perspectives and opportunities for scientific partners, companies, and the microfluidics industry as a total.

At Micronit, we keep a close eye on the trends in the markets we serve. This is extremely important from a business point of view, but also inspiring! Would you like to share ideas?