TEL and imec Extend Partnership into Life Science Research

October 10, 2012. Tokyo Electron (TEL) and imec have announced the participation of TEL in imec’s Human++ bio-research program. The agreement includes collaboration on biosensors and specialty imaging.

One of the research tracks within imec’s Human++ program is the development of next-generation platforms for automated cell-inspection methods in order to create pluripotent stem cells in clinical grade. The agreement between TEL and imec includes the development of high-quality imagers and sensors for a platform for inspection of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs). A compact lens-free imager will be developed at imec to monitor IPSC colonies, and imec will develop a silicon photonics biosensor to quantify biomolecules involved in stem cell proliferation.

To further strengthen their collaboration, TEL will participate in imec’s resident researcher program and send, for the first time, a researcher to imec for joint research in the life-science field.

“By participating in imec’s “Human++” program, TEL believes it will be possible to apply the technological strengths and expertise—both tangible and intangible—it has gained in the semiconductor production equipment business to the life science field. Imec’s extensive multidisciplinary track record is expected to be the ideal breeding ground to develop new technologies supporting next-generation life science solutions,” said Yoshio Kinoshita of TEL. “Moreover, imec’s unique environment of a semiconductor clean room combined with biolabs and a multidisciplinairy team of engineers, physicists, biomedical, and chemical scientists, allows in-house cultivation of stem-cell colonies, biochemistry development, and in-house testing with biological molecules and stem cell colonies.”

“Imec’s vision on future healthcare is one of high-quality and affordable diagnosis and treatment. We want to advance that vision by providing innovative top-notch electronics solutions to our partners,” said Peter Peumans, director of the life sciences program at imec. “I am delighted with this new agreement, broadening our collaboration scope with TEL from semiconductor technologies to life sciences. This collaboration endorses our expertise in life sciences and the value of our offering to TEL throughout our long-term strategic collaboration in the framework of imec’s advanced lithography affiliation program.”

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