About

The Micro- & NanoTools group was created in 2001 within the frame of Micro- and NanoSystems Department at the Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona, IMB-CNM (CSIC), Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain. With a strong background in MEMS/NEMS, our main goals are the development of Micro- and NanoTools based on silicon and polymer technologies, to provide unprecedented knowledge related to fundamental problems in science. We are a small but highly multidisciplinary group composed of physicists, engineers, and chemists to allow the design, FEM simulations, fabrication, and characterization of Micro- and Nanosystems.

 

The group is working in two research lines: suspended chips to sense and actuate in living cells and energy harvesting at the microscale.

 

Suspended chips for applications in living cells

In 2005 we started our research line focused on the development of Suspended Chips (silicon-based chips smaller than living cells) for Life science applications. We demonstrated the concepts of Chip-on-a-Cell and Chip-in-a-Cell. In 2013, we developed the first intracellular mechanical sensing chip, which can detect pressure changes inside living cells and transmits the information without any physical contact. In 2015, we demonstrated a suspended planar array chip for molecular multiplexing inside a living cell. Our latest work uses a microfabricated chip to measure the forces produced inside an embryo before the first division.

 

 

Focused ion beam was used to cut layers of a cell to reveal an internalized silicon chip.

 

Energy Harvesting for industrial applications, wearables, and cell biology

We focus on advancing triboelectric, piezoelectric, and flexoelectric devices at the microscale. The main activities are centered on developing wearables based on printing and flexible technologies and the harvesting of energy for cell stimulation, where the two research lines converge.