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    BioMEMs applies micro devices to biological and medical problems. In their simplest form, technologies in the BioMEMS arena leverage advances in microfabrication and micromachining to create faster, cheaper, hands-off micro and nano scale laboratories, i.e. microfluidics. In more sophisticated forms, BioMEMS devices offer an avenue to artificial organs, personalised drug therapies, and new ways to view cell communication. BioMEMS can be categorised into two categories, Biomedical MEMS and biotechnology MEMS.

    Biomedical MEMS deal in vivo with the body and the host anatomy, examples of which would include, biotelemetry, drug delivery, biosensors and other physical sensors.

    Biotechnology MEMS deal in vitro with the biological samples from the host, examples of which would include, gene sequencing, functional genomics, drug discover, pharmacogenomics, diagnostics and pathogen detection/ID.

    There is currently a large amount of BioMEMs work in the arena of drug delivery systems, using microfabrication techniques. Two main categories are envisioned: micromachined nanopore membranes and microparticles. Nanopore membranes are produced using photolithography, thin film depositions and selective etching to create membranes composed of silicon with highly uniform pores in the nanometre range. Microparticles, unlike conventional particulate drug delivery systems such as polymer microspheres, can be thin planar discs with a thickness and diameter of 1micron.

    On top of this there are also interesting developments in microneedles, sensors and micropumps, which are all geared at delivering drugs in a rapid and targeted fashion. As the BioMEMS arena expands, the requirement for nanometric metrology increases, which is a area in which Taylor Hobson is very familiar. For product information click the link below.

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