Matthieu Lagouge's PhD project
Design, fabrication and characterization of SU8-based microactuators for manipulation of micro-objects in wet environment and extraction from a wet to an almost-dry environment
This section provides a description of my PhD project in MEMS and Microtechnology in english. The thesis is already online, but it is written in french. These pages intends to provide informations about my research work in english.
My project can be divided in two parts: first part is a microprobe device developed in collaboration with Pr. Beomjoon Kim, from the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), University of Tokyo ; second part is an extractor system, able to convey and grab micro-objects out of a liquid.
The Silicon Microsystem Group at IEMN was created when Pr. Dominique Collard and Dr. Lionel Buchaillot came back from Japan to transfer the University of Tokyo's SAT3D MEMS technology.
Since then it has grown and developed its own skills to become a major player in international research. It is currently led by Dr. Lionel Buchaillot of CNRS.
Its research activities are focused on actuation aspect of MEMS, bioMEMS development, RF MEMS and evolution toward nanotechnology. These researches are recognized at the international level and allow publications in the largest MEMS conferences and journals.
Part of the group research activities concern the development of bioMEMS, where the combination of microfluidic functions already in use and microactuators can be an opportunity to achieve new functions and enhance existing ones.
The objective of my PhD was to set the first components toward a true lab-on-chip development, able to evolve inside bodies, grab biocells for measurements, and deliver products in realtime. Applications could be realtime monitoring to prevent troubles and call emergencies when the person is in need, local therapy: microsystems are able to get close enough to infected cells to deliver tiny doses of products and thus avoid secondary effects and save products. The application field can be enlarged to environment, where MEMS devices could analyze waters, etc.
The beginning of my PhD was coincidenting with the coming in our group of Pr. Beomjoon Kim, from University of Tokyo - IIS. Since Pr. Kim was also working in bioMEMS and was bringing the microprobes project, we worked together to fabricate it.
The next part of the project was born considering there were tools to manipulate micro-objects in liquid, in air, one device to transfer from air to liquid, but none for transfer from liquid to air. Biocells, for example, live in liquid environment, but microactuators are more efficient in air. So there was a need for a device able to grab a micro-object out of a liquid to air. I've used the experience learnt from the microprobe device development to design a new system, using SU8 based actuators, and I've add a dielectrophoretic conveying system to bring micro-objects in the microactuator range.
As an innovative research project, the devices still need optimization if they were to be produced for real-life applications, but the dielectrophoretic system and the microactuators were proven to work.