Micro and Nanosystems
Micro and nano electromechanical systems (MEMS) are enabling major advances within areas including medicine, biotechnology, optics and radio frequency technology. KTH MST is the largest MEMS team in Sweden, and our research is world-class.
The technology makes it possible to construct components and systems in the order of magnitude from one millimetre down to nano level. These then appear in applications such as medical instruments and mobile technology, where it is absolutely crucial to build complex functions into a small area. The microscale provides better performance, and allows us to do things that would be impossible at macro level. Using less material also makes it more cost-effective. At KTH MST, researchers have developed components that are used in medical implants and sensors, microsystems for energy conversion and microcomponents for wireless communication.
Examples of research
Micro medical technology. It is important within the medical field that the technology disturbs the patient as little as possible. In this context the researchers talk about minimally invasive technology, which, among other things, means that the components are as small as possible. The components are used, for example, in a blood pressure sensor on a catheter that is inserted into and measures the blood pressure in the heart’s coronary arteries during operations. Thanks to microsystem technology, it is now possible to carry out a coronary artery operation in an hour. Another example is smart plasters, where a microneedle system injects a medicine into the skin on command without it hurting.
Asthma detection. Measuring the amount of nitrogen in exhaled air gives an indication of the condition of an asthma patient. The data obtained provides guidance on how to medicate the patient. KTH MST is developing a nitrogen molecule sensor for asthma detection, making it possible to move from today’s large, physician-monitored systems to a handheld, personalised system. The sensor is an example of lab-on-chip, in other words small laboratory in a single centimetre-sized chip.
- Biosensors for the detection of disease carriers such as viruses and bacteria recognise and measure different infection substances. KTH MST has been working together with Karolinska Institutet to develop a sensor that can capture particles from the air in order to ascertain whether a room is infected by something, for example, winter vomiting sickness, which is a problem in environments where large numbers of people are present. The sensor can also be used to capture particles from the air a patient exhales and to ascertain whether the patient is carrying the virus or not.
Collaborations and projects in the area
Industrial collaboration with several international medical, biotech and telecom companies.
Collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, KI.
EU projects, for example:
Professor in and head of department of Microsystems technology
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