Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Automation & Microfluidics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

MIT Researchers Develop a New Approach to Producing 3D Microchips

Published: Friday, March 02, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, March 02, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are small devices with huge potential. Typically made of components less than 100 microns in size they have been used as tiny biological sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes and actuators.

For the most part, existing MEMS devices are two-dimensional, with functional elements engineered on the surface of a chip. It was thought that operating in three dimensions — to detect acceleration, for example — would require complex manufacturing and costly merging of multiple devices in precise orientations.

Now researchers at MIT have come up with a new approach to MEMS design that enables engineers to design 3-D configurations, using existing fabrication processes; with this approach, the researchers built a MEMS device that enables 3-D sensing on a single chip. The silicon device, not much larger than Abraham Lincoln’s ear on a U.S. penny, contains microscopic elements about the width of a red blood cell that can be engineered to reach heights of hundreds of microns above the chip’s surface.

Fabio Fachin, a postdoc in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, says the device may be outfitted with sensors, placed atop and underneath the chip’s minuscule bridges, to detect three-dimensional phenomena such as acceleration. Such a compact accelerometer may be useful in several applications, including autonomous space navigation, where extremely accurate resolution of three-dimensional acceleration fields is key.

“One of the main driving factors in the current MEMS industry is to try to make fully three-dimensional devices on a single chip, which would not only enable real 3-D sensing and actuation, but also yield significant cost benefits,” Fachin says. “A MEMS accelerometer could give you very accurate acceleration [measurements] with a very small footprint, which in space is critical.”

Fachin collaborated with Brian Wardle, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, and Stefan Nikles, a design engineer at MEMSIC, an Andover, Mass., company that develops wireless-sensor technology. The team outlined the principles behind their 3-D approach in a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Device can Study Electric Field Cancer Therapy
Microfluidic device allows study of electric field cancer therapy through low-intensity fields, preventing malignant cells spreading.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Tough New Hydrogel Hybrid Doesn’t Dry Out
Water-based material could be used to make artificial skin, longer-lasting contact lenses.
Friday, July 01, 2016
Organ-on-a-Chip
In a step toward personalized drug testing, researchers coax human stem cells to form complex tissues.
Friday, January 08, 2016
Study Reveals Shared Behavior of Microbes And Electrons
Bacteria streaming through a lattice behave like electrons in a magnetic material.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Study Reveals Shared Behavior of Microbes and Electrons
Bacteria streaming through a lattice behave like electrons in a magnetic material.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Tracing a Cellular Family Tree
New technique allows tracking of gene expression over generations of cells as they specialize.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
New Device Uses Carbon Nanotubes to Snag Molecules
Nanotube “forest” in a microfluidic channel may help detect rare proteins and viruses.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Scaling Up Synthetic-Biology Innovation
MIT professor’s startup makes synthesizing genes many times more cost effective.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Capturing Cell Growth in 3-D
Spinout’s microfluidics device better models how cancer and other cells interact in the body.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Real-Time Data for Cancer Therapy
Biochemical sensor implanted at initial biopsy could allow doctors to better monitor and adjust cancer treatments.
Thursday, August 06, 2015
Freshly Squeezed Vaccines
Microfluidic cell-squeezing device opens new possibilities for cell-based vaccines.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Faster, Smaller, More Informative
Device can measure the distribution of tiny particles as they flow through a microfluidic channel.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Using Sound Waves To Detect Rare Cancer Cells
Acoustic device can rapidly isolate circulating tumor cells from patient blood samples.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Mechanically Stimulating Stem Cells
MIT biological engineering graduate student Frances Liu is studying ways to alter mechanical properties of cell environments to produce desired chemical outputs.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
New Way To Model Sickle Cell Behavior
Microfluidic device allows researchers to predict behavior of patients’ blood cells.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Scientific News
Automated Low Volume Dispensing Trends
Gain a better understanding of the current and future market requirements for fully automated LVD systems.
Blood-brain Barrier on a Chip
Researchers from Vanderbilt University have developed a microfluidic device to study the blood-brain barrier.
'Lab on the Skin' for Sweat Analysis
Northwestern University researchers develop a low-cost wearable electronic device that collects and analyzes sweat for health monitoring.
Peer Review is in Crisis, But Should be Fixed, Not Abolished
After the time to get the science done, peer review has become the slowest step in the process of sharing studies, and some scientists have had enough.
Making Every Cell Matter
New method for encapsulating single cells within microgels could boost efficacy of cell-based therapies and tissue engineering.
Modelling Cigarette Effects with Airway-on-a-Chip
An instrument that smokes cigarettes like a human, and delivers whole smoke to the air space of microfluidic human airway chips, enables new insights into how non-smokers and COPD patients respond to smoke.
Robotic Cleaning Technique Could Automate Neuroscience Research
New robotic cleaning technique allows pipettes used in patch-clamping to be re-used up to 11 or more times.
Lab-on-a-Chip to Help Detect Cancer
In this podcast, we speak to Gustavo Stolovitsky to learn about his career and the work he is doing at IBM Research.
First Entirely 3D-printed Organ-on-a-Chip with Integrated Sensors
New approach to manufacturing may allow researchers to rapidly design organs-on-chips that match the properties of a specific disease or individual patient's cells.
3D-Printing in Science: Conference Co-Staged with LABVOLUTION
LABVOLUTION 2017 will have an added highlight of a simultaneous conference, "3D-Printing in Science".
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!