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Posted: July 12, 2010
Affinity Biosensors Selects Innovative Micro Technology as Foundry Partner for Volume Production of MEMS Particle Mass Sensor
(Nanowerk News) Affinity Biosensors and Innovative Micro Technology, Inc. entered into a strategic foundry partnership today for volume production of suspended mass resonator (SMR) MEMS devices enabling particle measurement in fluidic solutions with femtogram resolution. The SMR MEMS devices are the chips that drive Affinity Biosensors' ARCHIMEDES Particle Measurement System, which won the Gold Award for the Best New Product at Pittcon 2010, and most recently, the 2010 R&D100 Award, recognizing it as one of the most technologically significant new products of the past year.
Originally conceived at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, IMT refined and developed a robust process for volume production, including a key component to this product – sub-mTorr vacuum, wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology. ARCHIMEDES measures a particle as it traverses through a microfluidic channel embedded in a resonating cantilever. The mass is determined by detecting the change in resonant frequency at the time the particle enters the tip of the cantilever. Achieving femtogram resolution requires the cantilever to have a very high Q-factor that is only accomplished by encapsulating the cantilever in high-vacuum wafer level packaging (WLP).
"Working with IMT has been a very rewarding experience. I know of no other MEMS foundry with the breadth of facilities and depth of expertise needed to develop the sensors for ARCHIMEDES, and to bring them into production. It is not an exaggeration to say that ARCHIMEDES, and perhaps Affinity Biosensors itself, might not exist without our relationship with IMT," said Dr. Ken Babcock, CEO of Affinity Biosensors.
IMT builds some of the most complex MEMS devices in the market today. Incorporating proven technology modules and platforms, such as WLP, through silicon vias, and 3D microfluidics, help to mitigate program risks and achieve production-friendly processes. As a result, IMT's customer products are reaching the market in ever faster times.
"Of course, we are always pleased when we can provide a value that enables our customers to achieve true technical differentiation in the market," stated Dr. John Foster, CEO of IMT. "While the concept of the SMR chip is simple, the technology used to produce these devices is not. We are fortunate to have been able to leverage our standard processes and depth of experience in microfluidics to help shorten the development time of this project and are thrilled to be supporting Affinity Bio in production today."
About Affinity Biosensors
Affinity Biosensors is pioneering ultra high-resolution mass measurement for real-world applications in industrial manufacturing, research, life sciences, and nanotechnology. Affinity Biosensors introduced ARCHIMEDES as a new gold standard in particle metrology, and is working to extend this capability to mass-based cytometry for biological research, biotechnology, and therapeutics.
About Innovative Micro Technology, Inc.
IMT is a world leader in the production and development of MEMS devices and is the largest pure-play MEMS foundry in the United States. Established in 2000, IMT develops, manufactures, tests, and supplies products to the RF, biotech/biomed, optical communications, infrared, navigation, and general markets, servicing Fortune 500 companies to startups.