Flexible Microsystems for Health

The Flexible Microsystems for Health research team aims at integrating electronics circuits into a form factor that enables applications such as interacting with the peripheral nervous system, smart contact lens vision correction and optical brain stimulation. Its Flexible Implantable Thin Electronic Package (FITEP) technology combines a ultra-thin silicon chip with noble metal interconnections, hermetic encapsulation and Pt/IrO electrodes in a flexible and bio-stable polymer package. The technology platform for smart contact lenses provides integration of electronics, battery, solar cell and an antenna into shaped inserts for soft and rigid contact lens. Our unique capability is the inclusion of electro-optical elements for vision correction based on liquid crystal technology. Other research topics include optogenetics, ultra-hermetic flexible barriers and a biomimetic microfluidic platform.

Selection of recent work :

On September 4, the first performance assessment of our artificial iris was reported in Scientific Reports (pdf), a Nature publication. Resulting from a collaboration between our group and the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Fundación Jiménez Díaz (Madrid, Spain) the paper demonstrates that a smart contact lens with our artificial iris has the potential to expand the visual sharpness, decrease optical aberrations and reduce the amount of light entering the eye in a dynamic manner. Thanks to the fruitful collaboration with Holst Centre (an open innovation initiative from imec and TNO, the Netherlands), we can also present an autonomous prototype that will be further developed into a medical device within the framework of the spin-off incubation initiative Azalea Vision, from imec and Ghent University.
More links:
Forbes - This Smart Contact Lens Is Already In Clinical Trials At Ghent University In Belgium.
UGent-ELIS - Slimme contactlens vervangt iris. (dutch)
Medgadget - Artificial Iris Inside Smart Contacts Corrects Vision Disorders.
News Break - Imec develops artificial iris.
International Business Times - Scientists Develop Smart Contact Lens with Artificial Iris to Treat Eye Diseases.
EOS - Contactlens vervangt iris. (dutch)
Datanews - Imec en UGent stellen slimme contactlens met kunstmatige iris voor. (dutch)


Development of an active high-density transverse intrafascicular micro-electrode probe.
“R. Verplancke, M. Cauwe, D. Schaubroeck,D. Cuypers, B. Vandecasteele, L. Mader, C. Vanhaverbeke, M. Ballini, J. O'Callaghan, E. Goikoetxea D. Braeken, A. Kundu, E. Patrick, N. Maghari, K. Otto, R. Bashirullah and M. Op de Beeck, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol. 30, 2020.”

Numerical simulation of a multi-inlet microfluidic device for biosensing purposes in osteoporosis management.
“P. Khashayar, A. Okhovat, H. Adibi, J. Windels, G. Amoabediny, B. Larijani, and J. Vanfleteren, Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 341–348, 2019.”

Spatiotemporal electrochemistry on flexible microelectrode arrays: progress towards smart contact lens integration: ≻ link.
“M. Donora, E. Gonzalez-Fernandez, A. F. Vasquez Quintero, H. De Smet, and I. Underwood, Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, vol. 296, 2019.”

Comparison of copper electroplating, copper wet etching and linear sweep voltammetry as techniques to investigate the porosity of atomic layer deposited Al2O3: ≻ link.
“C. Vanhaverbeke, M. Cauwe, A. Stockman, M. Op de Beeck, and H. De Smet, Thin Solid Films, vol. 686, 2019.”

Ultra-long-term reliable encapsulation using an atomic layer deposited Hfo2/Al2o3/Hfo2 triple-interlayer for biomedical implants.
“C. Li, M. Cauwe, Y. Yang, D. Schaubroeck, L. Mader, and M. Op de Beeck, Coatings, vol. 9, no. 9, 2019.”

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