Universities Obtain New Funding from Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium

Three leading U.S. universities are the latest recipients of funding from the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC), operated by SEMI.  NBMC’s mission is to further the development of human performance monitoring (HPM), thereby broadening the use of advanced electronics in this highly anticipated application space. Among other applications, HPMs are expanding the fast growing wearable electronics markets. According to Research and Markets, “The global market for wearable electronic devices was valued at around USD $20 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD $97.8 billion, growing at a CAGR of around 24.1 percent from 2017 to 2023.”

The new awards announced today total more than $870,000 and include:

  • University of Arizona: To meet the needs of NBMC industry members, the University of Arizona will focus on determining which HPM sweat patch configuration is best suited to meeting performance requirements. The initial investigation will include a “lab-in-a-bandage” that collects and analyzes biomarkers within one minute from sweat secretion.  The follow-on project will determine the feasibility of using organic semiconductor sensor technology (compatible with flexible substrates and manufacturing techniques) for sweat biomarker detection sensitivity and selectivity with sweat sample volumes in the nano- and pico-liter range.
  • University of California at Los Angeles: UCLA will partner with i3 Electronics of Binghamton, NY to investigate the use of Fan-Out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP) methods as a new way to build versatile, biocompatible physically-flexible heterogeneous electronic systems. FOWLP is a relatively new packaging process that gaining widespread use in portable devices such as smart phones. It offers the advantages of true heterogeneous integration of different dies, including high performance electronics, tight pitch interconnects, and components (such as low profile passives) with a short turn-around, scalable, manufacturing process.
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst: U Mass Amherst will conduct a detailed systematic assessment of microfluidic subsystem architecture and operational approaches for sweat-based biomarker detection.  The study will address issues associated with accurate, time-stamped sweat sample collection and delivery, effluent control and removal for continuous operation, and dynamic performance design aspects to address sample handling under conditions of high and low sweat rates.

“The NBMC program continues to push technology limits in ways that integrate leading edge microelectronics,” said Dr. Melissa Grupen-Shemansky, SEMI’s CTO for flexible electronics and advanced packaging.  “Consequently, SEMI is helping to identify new equipment, materials and process opportunities for our members and their customers.”

The NBMC program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.