Postdoctoral Position to Develop Active Elements for Droplet Microfluidics

September 22 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for those passionate talents that make the difference!

The job

Lab on chip technologies have increasingly been used for solve technical problems in the medical diagnostics device field. Innovative microfluidic design and integration is key to developing ground breaking devices as currently there is a lack of devices on the market that use microfluidics to their full potential. One reason for this is the difficultly in integrating a complete analysis system on chip. The majority of current research and commercial devices focus on, for example single cell or single molecule endpoint sensing but still require costly and time consuming sample preparation of clinical samples off chip. This contributes to the poor growth of the microfluidic market.

There currently exists many on-chip microfluidic (electrophoresis, electrowetting, acoustics, etc) and traditional off-chip macrofluidic (pumps and valves) fluidic handling techniques which together have demonstrated how fluids can be handled and manipulated on-chip. The main focus of this position is to combine both on- and off-chip fluid handling techniques in a single system, thereby providing the possibility to take clinical sample preparation from a costly and time consuming lab procedure and high throughput, automated and user friendly operation on chip. All active elements used in the system will be fabricated using a large area fabrication approach rather than the typical CMOS approach.

At imec's life science department there is a long history of using back end of line fabricated microfluidics in cell and small molecule isolation and detection systems. This research has rapidly expanded in the last years and has contributed to many different sensing platforms. Also, imec's large area electronics department is very well known within the field of organic electronics such as imagers and displays. The implementation of active components in large area electronics will allow high throughput and low-cost cell and biomolecule sample preparation techniques.

This postdoctoral position will develop microfluidic circuitry in conjunction with active components to enable the fluid handling necessary for sample preparation from a clinical sample to occur on chip. From the simulation of fluidic and electronic components, test devices will be fabricated and assembled in imec's cleanroom. Fabrication, testing and integration of individual components will lead a complete device that will isolate a specific analyte (or family of analytes) for biosensing further downstream. The role will be supported with imec's life science and large area electronics departments which have expertise in microfluidics, processing, biosensing and thin film electronics.

In this position, you will:

  • Perform electrical and microfluidic device design and modelling;

  • Select and characterize materials and develop large-area manufacturing processes using imec's cleanroom facility;

  • Troubleshoot processing and fabrication challenges;

  • Design, fabricate and test demonstration devices with increasing functionality;

  • Automate test setups that include mechanical, electrical and optical components;

  • Design and execute test plans together with application scientists;

  • Bring ideas from concept to proof-of-principle;

  • Work closely with an interdisciplinary team of engineers and biologists.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess