Added value hDMT

The added value of the TU Delft to the hDMT initiative is both on a fundamental as well as on a practical level. The fundamental research at molecular and cellular level (DNA-protein interactions, membranes, cytoskeleton, lipid vesicles) are crucial building blocks to understand the (mechanical properties of) cellular model systems, which in particular is relevant for cancer models.

At the same time our engineering skills in micro- and nano-fabrication as well as in nano-fluidics will help in building disease models that are manufacturable and have economical relevance.

Expertise and facilities:

The following groups at the Delft University of Technology actively participate in the hDMT:

  • Electrical Components Technology and Materials (EWI)
  • Bioelectronics (EWI)
  • Department of Bionanoscience (AP)
  • The Delft Bioinformatics Lab (EWI)

These groups use/share world class facilities such as:

  • The Kavli Nanolab and Imaging Center
  • The Else Kooij Lab for micro-fabrication (Former DIMES cleanroom)


Group Electronic Components and materials (ECTM)
The incredible development of IC technologies for computers and mobile communication over the past thirty years has resulted in equipment and materials which can be used not only to fabricate computer chips, but also to fabricate, on a micron scale, whole systems which perform functions such as sensing, actuation for an almost endless variety of applications.

The group ECTM is specialized in combining all these technologies into working devices with a growing emphasis on biomedical applications. Expertise relevant to the hDMT initiative includes:

Vertical integration knowledge to combine basic technologies into functional devices;

World renounced expertise in MEMS and sensor fabrication

  • Expertise on bringing ideas to manufacturable devices and systems
  • Extensive experience in the processing of polymers relevant for biomedical devices
  • Excellent links with medium and high volume micro-fabrication foundries

Group Bioelectronics
Section Bioelectronics is specialized in integrated circuits and systems for electroceuticals, the
electronic counterparts of pharmaceuticals. Expertise relevant to the hDMT initiative includes:

  • Biosignal conditioning/detection
  • Electrical stimulation and recording of cells and tissue
  • Electroceuticals
  • Bioelectronics and biomedical electronics

Group Bionanoscience
The department of Bionanocience is a young interdisciplinary department with currently 15
independent principles investigators (PIs) covering a broad range of expertise that is relevant to
the hDMT initiative:

  • Synthetic biology and biomimetics
  • Nanoscience and –technology
    Quantitative cell biology
  • Single molecule biophysics
  • High resolution imaging
  • Microfluidics and nano/microfabrication


Clementine Boutry starts research on biodegradable materials for scaffolds, electrodes, actuators and wireless circuits for Organ-on-Chip at TU Delft

Clementine Boutry recently joined the ECTM Laboratory in the Department of Microlelectronics at TU Delft...

Read more

Added value

One of the most exciting developments of our time is the spontaneous breaking up of barriers between disciplines which are as wide apart as (silicon) micro-fabrication, physics and lifesciences.

Doctors and physicians are appreciating the potential of nano- and micro-technologies, while physicists and technologists are learning to understand the language of life-sciences, with the common goal to find technological solutions to one of the most urgent societal issues of the western world: “How can we continue to provide increasingly better healthcare at affordable cost for an aging society.”

The hDMT program offers the University of Delft the unique opportunity to
work together with top-experts in academic and industrial life sciences to jointly develop societal relevant solutions.


Else Kooij Lab (former DIMES cleanroom):
The Else Kooij Lab – a subsidiary of TUD – operates a 600 m2 class 100 clean room fully equipped for the vertical integration of a large variety of micro-fabricated devices. In the lab students can realize their own design and concepts in silicon. Additionally the cleanroom acts as a small scale foundry for customers who want to prototype or pilot produce their devices.

The Else Kooij lab has excellent working relations with the Philips Innovation Service Pilot line cleanroom so that concepts developed in the Else Kooij lab can be seamlessly transferred to production.

The capabilities of the Else Kooij Lab include:

  • a full process line (0.5 μm CMOS/bipolar capability), class 100
  • a class 10,000 laboratory for MEMS
  • an electrical characterization laboratory
  • process capabilities for the processing of active devices (epi, ion implantation, gate oxidation, stepper lithography)
  • process capabilities for MEMS processing (LPCVD, PECVD, wafer bonding, DRIE etching, metal deposition)
  • process capabilities for bio-devices (polymer deposition, processing, and etching)

KAVLI Institute:
The Kavli institute of Nanoscience at the Department of Applied Sciences joins the efforts of the Department of Quantum Nanoscience and Bionanoscience. Facilities run by the institute that are relevant to the hDMT initiative consist of:

  • Extensive biofacilities (ML1/2, general bio- and cell culture facilities)
  • Kavli Nanolab (clean room facility for nanofabrication)
  • Kavli Nanolab Imaging Center (collection of high end optical microscopes including spinning disk confocal, TIRF, SIM, scanning confocal, regular fluorescence etc.)

Ongoing projects:

Group Electronic Components and materials (ECTM)
ECTM in collaboration with Philips is developing the Cytostretch platform. The heart of the Cytostretch platform is a thin PDMS membrane suspended in a silicon chip. Cells are plated on the membrane, and can be stretched by applying a differential pressure across the membrane.


  • Stretchable electrodes for electrophysiological characterization of the cells;
  • Micro-fabricated groves to induce cell alignment;
  • Through membrane holes to allow for cell interaction for cell bi-layers;
  • Strain gauges for contractility measurements (under development);
  • Integrated electronics for on-chip signal processing (under development).


  • Hol, F.J.H. and C. Dekker. Zooming in to see the bigger picture: using nanofabrication to study bacteria, Science, in print (2014).
  • Preciado López, M., Huber,F., Grigoriev, I., Steinmetz, M.O., Akhmanova, A., Koenderink, G.H., Dogterom. M. Actin-microtubule coordination at growing microtubule ends, Nature Communications 5:4778 (2014).
  • Preciado López, M., Huber,F., Grigoriev, I., Steinmetz, M.O., Akhmanova, A., Koenderink, G.H., Dogterom. M. Actin-microtubule coordination at growing microtubule ends, Nature Communications 5:4778 (2014).
  • Hol, F.J.H. and C. Dekker, Zooming in to see the bigger picture: using nanofabrication to study bacteria, Science, in print (2014).
  • Lee, M., Lipfert, J., Sanchez, H., Wyman, C. and Dekker, N.H. Structural and Torsional Properties of the RAD51-dsDNA Nucleoprotein Filament, Nucleic Acids Research 41, 7023–7030 (2013).
  • Laan, L., Pavin, N., Husson, J., Romet-Lemonne, G., van Duijn, M., Preciado-Lopez, M., Vale, R.D., Jülicher, F., Reck-Peterson, S.L.,Dogterom, M. Cortical dynein controls microtubule dynamics to generate pulling forces that position microtubule asters, Cell 148, 502-514 (2012).
  • Khoshfetrat Pakazad, S., Savov, A., van de Stolpe, A. and R. Dekker. “A novel stretchable micro-electrode array (SMEA) design for directional stretching of cells,” J. Micromech.Microeng., vol. 24, 034003, (2014)
  • Yongjia Li, Andre L. Mansano, Yuan Yuan, Duan Zhao and Wouter A. Serdijn. An ECG Recording Front-End With Continuous-Time Level-Crossing Sampling, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TBCAS.2014.2359183
  • van Dongen, M.N. and Serdijn, W.A. A Power-Efficient Multichannel Neural Stimulator using High-frequency Pulsed Excitation from an Unfiltered Dynamic Supply, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, in print 2014.

More Projects

Group Bioelectronics
Bio-Electronics is currently participating in the STW project (11693) “REASONS – Real-time Sensing of Neural Signals”, in the Netherlands.

This project targets the development of a completely new readout system for measuring the so called electrically evoked compound action potential (eCAP) coming from the auditory nerve.

To develop this readout system, new electronic circuitry will be designed based on state of the art technologies integrated with the electrode itself. Existing systems will be tested extensively to develop novel measurement algorithms for the new readout system. Animal experiments will be performed on existing and new readout systems.

Group Bionanoscience
At the Department of Bionanoscience several projects are running related to the biophysics and nanotechnology of DNA, RNA and their associated proteins (ERC Advanced grant Cees Dekker; ERC Consolidator grant Nynke Dekker, ERC starting grant Chirlmin Joo).

Furthermore there are several efforts to reconstitute essential cellular processes in artificial systems, with the eventual goal to build synthetic cells (e.g. NWO VIDI Christophe Danelon; NWO Top Cees Dekker).

Specifically there is a large effort to reconstitute cytoskeletal processes relevant for cell division and migration in 3D matrices (ERC synergy grant Marileen Dogterom in collaboration with Anna Akhmanova, a cell biologist in Utrecht).

More grants