Opening of Microfab lab at Eindhoven University of Technology

Eindhoven University of Technology TU/e opens its new Microfab lab on Wednesday 1 July. This state-of-the-art laboratory enables researchers and students from different departments to use advanced microfabrication facilities, and to produce microsystems for use in research and education. One of the key goals is the development of technology for organs-on-a-chip by bringing together engineers, cell biologists and medical researchers in the lab. It is expected that over time this will speed and improve the development of medicines for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Microsystems and micro equipment are gaining increasing importance in science and research, and this certainly applies at TU/e. Just a few examples can be found in research fields such as microfluidics, tissue culture, lab-on-a-chip, organs-on-a-chip or the development of smart materials that can respond to their environment. The opening of the Microfab lab opens up new opportunities in these research fields for researchers and students.

Unique combinations

While many industries and research institutes have production facilities specializing in a single technology, the new Microfab lab brings together a range of technologies. From a cleanroom for lithography through to advanced 3D printers, and from laser fabrication to a facility for working with biological cells – the Microfab lab gives users unique opportunities, with multiple technologies all available at a single location. “A laboratory that gives us access to multiple technologies is in itself exceptional, but being able to use both technical and biological materials is what gives this lab a really unique dimension”, explains Jaap den Toonder, professor of Microsystems. “The Microfab lab is part of the ICMS (Institute for Complex Molecular Systems) at TU/e , and forms a collaboration between the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics, and Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. The facilities can also be used by students and researchers from other departments, as well partner universities. By making our facilities easily accessible, we want to create a meeting point and promote partnerships between different disciplines and departments.”

The Microfab lab has a strong focus on the development of technology for medicines, and on gaining increasing understanding of diseases. This research is taking place within the recently established hDMT institute (Institute for human Organic and Disease Model techniques), of which TU/e is a founding partner.

The Microfab lab covers a total area of 600 m², and represents an investment of more than € 1 million. Together with the existing Nanolab@TU/e, TU/e now has two state-of-the-art production facilities.

Rector Frank Baaijens and the Mayor of Eindhoven Rob van Gijzel opened the new Microfab lab on Wednesday 1 July.