Introduction Semiconductor technology is becoming increasingly important in global healthcare enabling novel understanding, discovery and treatment of disease to make healthcare more affordable and efficient, both in and out of the clinic. With the global healthcare industry being valued at US $1.65 trillion in 2016 and expected to reach US $2.69 trillion by 2025 1, it is an important growing industry. Key drivers behind this ongoing market growth are growing and aging populations, over urbanization, rising disease prevalence all of which are putting further strain on our healthcare systemswhich are already grapplingwith issues relating to access, quality, and cost. Convergence of technology from the seemingly disparate fields of semiconductor device processing, life sciences are fast revolutionising healthcare and medical research by enabling quick and accurate diagnosis. This in turn is increasing the speed and efficiency of treatment for various conditions as well as biomedical research and development. Previously ... In the previous edition of this white paper series we provided an overview the various processing challenges and solutions for fabrication of microfluidics and active elements of these devices as outlined in figure 1. Plasma based processes form a critical tool for the fabrication of microfluidics with control and precision while enabling the flexibility of design for various applications. The range of plasma processing techniques offered by Oxford Instruments allows researchers and device manufacturers to work with multiple material platforms (Silicon, Glass, Polymer etc) and have full control over the properties of microfluidic features. (Access this part here: https://plasma.oxinst.com/campaigns/media-centre/wp/biomed-white-paper-s1 ).
Figure 1. Major processing requirements for biomedical device fabrication
2 | White Paper - Creation of hydrophobic, hydrophilic and functional surfaces © Oxford Instruments
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