Bio- & Medical Technology

Miniaturization of biotechnology devices has significantly improved fields related to human health, such as clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical research, as well as environmental and industrial sciences. To successfully commercialize these types of products in the biotechnology market, which is fast growing with stringent requirements and high regulatory hurdles, cost-effective micro-structuring technologies are essential.
Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) has evolved from a niche technology to a powerful high-volume manufacturing method that is able to serve today's needs and overcome the challenges of increasing complexity of biotechnology devices. In addition to structuring technologies, sealing is a central process. Thus, bonding of different device layers, capping layers and interconnection layers is a key process that can be implemented together with NIL in an efficient large-area batch process.

Device Sealing: Biocompatible sealing on industry-leading wafer processing equipment

With its established wafer bonding equipment, EVG can offer sealing processes that are well-aligned with NIL structuring technologies. A variety of different bonding options are available, ranging from advanced room temperature bonding techniques for bio-material encapsulation to plasma activated bonding as well as high-quality hermetic sealing and vacuum encapsulation. Processing can be done on all common substrates including polymers, glass and silicon.

Interlayer-free Bonding
Thermal bonding of glass and polymer substrates

Thermal bonding is performed by heating the substrate near or above the glass transition temperature, which softens the material. The additional pressure generates sufficient flow of polymer at the interface to achieve intimate contact and inter-diffusion of polymer chains. Pressure is removed after the substrate is cooled down to a specific value below the glass transition temperature. Thermal bonding is an interlayer-free process and therefore does not introduce any additional material to the device.

Key features:

  • High pressure and temperature uniformity over large areas
  • Plasma-activated bonding
  • High-quality hermetic sealing and vacuum encapsulation
  • Homogenous sealing of microfluidic channels

 

 

Adhesive Bonding
Biocompatible adhesive and tape bonding

Bonding with adhesives can be used to join many different materials. Often liquid adhesives are used, which can be cured thermally or by exposure to UV light. The latter offers a room-temperature bonding process, which allows for bio-molecule encapsulation - an important issue in many pharmaceutical or diagnostic devices. Adhesive tapes offer another solution, which can be easily laminated onto the microfluidic chips either in the form of double-side-adhesive tapes or pressure-sensitive tapes.

Key features:

  • Ultra-thin selective adhesive transfer technology with excellent uniformity over large areas
  • Room-temperature processes for encapsulation of bio-materials
  • Compatible with a wide range of materials
  • Insensitive to surface roughness

 


Cross section of a structured PMMA bonded with another PMMA.
Courtesy of Waseda University.

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Cross section of adhesive interface

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Click to read our article "Processes for Next-Gen Biotech Devices"