(July 12) — Affinity Biosensors and Innovative Micro Technology Inc. (IMT) 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.
Originally conceived at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 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 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 Ken Babcock, Ph.D., CEO of Affinity Biosensors.
IMT builds complex MEMS devices in today’s market. Incorporating proven technology modules and platforms, such as WLP, through silicon vias (TSV), and 3D microfluidics helps 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."
Affinity Biosensors is pioneering ultra high-resolution mass measurement for real-world applications in industrial manufacturing, research, life sciences, and nanotechnology. Learn more at www.affinitybio.com