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Brief Description

CSEM is a private R&D centre specialising in microtechnology, nanotechnology, microelectronics, systems engineering and communications technologies. It provides its industry customers and beneficiaries with tailor-made, innovative product solutions based on its commercial and technological expertise, further expanded by the results of its applied research. Additionally, through the establishment of start-up businesses, it actively contributes to developing Switzerland as a centre of industry and commerce. At the end of 2007, 348 people were employed. In 2007, the turnover was of 58 Mio. Swiss Francs (~36 M€). CSEM is a non-profit organisation.

Department involved

The division Nanotechnology and Life Sciences will be involved in InLiveTox projet. This division focuses on the commercialisation and application of microtechnology and nanotechnology particularly in the fields of optics and life sciences. Biosensors, nanostructured surfaces and microfabrication for optics and biology are the major axes of the division. 

Activities in the project

CSEM is project coordinator. CSEM will provide, test and develop microfabricated elements and systems for the in vitro system. At present CSEM is working on the use of microfabricated porous membranes together with integrated electrodes to set up an in vitro model of lung epithelia in an automated microfluidics system (in Nanosafe2 FP6 project). CSEM would like to use the systems developed for lung epithelia above to the model intestinal epithelia in InLiveTox project and to use their nanoparticle detection methods to determine the transport and location of nanoparticles within the system. Work is just being started to extend these developments to intestinal epithelia in the context of the EU FP6 project Meditrans.     

Expertise in these activities / Previous experiences

CSEM’s core competences are microfabrication, low-power electronics, microelectronics, systems engineering, robotics and optics. In relation to the project, microfabrication and systems engineering are the principle competences although CSEM also have competences in microfluidics, cell culture, surface chemistry and biosensing. CSEM is already involved in two European projects (Nanosafe2 and Meditrans).

Key people involved

Dr. Martha LILEY received her PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK). She joined CSEM in 1997 after several years at the EPFL. She has contributed to CSEM’s activities in biosensing and nanotechnology and recently became head of BioMEMS, developing new tools for the Life Sciences.

Some relevant publications /Patent

  • G. Weder et al, J. Biomechanics (2008) 41, s22
  • J. Polesel-Maris et al, J Physics: Conf series (2007) 61, 955