Course Outline (W2024)

BME804: Design of Bio-MEMS

Instructor(s)Dr. Virgilio Valente [Coordinator]
Office: ENG450
Phone: (416) 979-5000 x 553728
Office Hours: Tue 1pm-3pm (weeks 2-13)
Calendar DescriptionBiophysical and chemical principles of biomedical microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMS) for the measurement of biological phenomena and clinical applications. micro-and nano-scale devices for the manipulation of cells and biomolecules. Topics include solid-state transducers, optical transducers, electrochemical transducers, biomedical microelectronics, microfluidics, and hybrid integration of microfabrication technology.
PrerequisitesBME 423 and BME 674 and BME 634




Compulsory Text(s):
  1. No compulsory text. BME804 Lecture notes- V.Valente
Reference Text(s):
  1. Fundamentals of BioMEMS and Medical Microdevices, 1st Edition, by Steven S. Saliterman, 2006.
  2. BioMEMS: Science and Engineering Perspectives, 1st Edition, by Simona Badilescu and Muthukumaran Packirisamy, 2011.
  3. Bio-MEMS: technologies and applications, 1st Edition, by Wanjun Wang and Steven A. Soper, 2007.
  4. BioMEMS, 1st Edition, by Gerald A. Urban, 2007
  5. MEMS for Biomedical Applications Edited by: Shekhar Bhansali and Abhay Vasudev, 2012
Learning Objectives (Indicators)  

At the end of this course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Understand the biophysical and chemical principles to design biomedical micorelectromechanical systems (BioMEMS) for measurement of biological phenomena and to design solutions to biomedical problems. (1c)
  2. Adopt biophysical and chemical principles to conceptualize the modeling and the design of BioMEMS devices. (1d)
  3. Model and test BioMEMS components and devices through software simulations (using Coventorware software) and critically evaluate the implications of component/device parameters modifications on overall design, independently and in lab/project teams. (2b), (3a), (5a), (6a)
  4. Understand, apply and critically evaluate the design, fabrication, and operation of BioMEMS components (e.g. optical transducers, electrochemical transducers, biomedical electronics, microfluids, hybrid integration of micofabrication technology) to address medical issues and applications. (4b)
  5. Communicate an understanding of fundamental theoretical and practical principles and critical evaluation of BioMEMS designs through written laboratory reports, written assignments and oral project presentations evaluated on grammar, completeness, clarity and design innovation. (7a), (7b), (7c)
  6. Understand, apply and critically evaluate the design, fabrication, and operation of BioMEMS components (e.g. optical transducers, electrochemical transducers, biomedical electronics, microfluids, hybrid integration of microfabrication technology) to address medical issues and applications. (12b)

NOTE:Numbers in parentheses refer to the graduate attributes required by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

Course Organization

3.0 hours of lecture per week for 13 weeks
1.0 hours of lab per week for 12 weeks
1.0 hours of tutorial per week for 12 weeks

Teaching AssistantsSima Darbasi (
 Irene Miah (
Course Evaluation
Midterm Exam 25 %
Final Exam 35 %
Course Projects 20 %
3 Labs ( 5%, 7.5%, 7.5%) 20 %
TOTAL:100 %

Note: In order for a student to pass a course, a minimum overall course mark of 50% must be obtained. In addition, for courses that have both "Theory and Laboratory" components, the student must pass the Laboratory and Theory portions separately by achieving a minimum of 50% in the combined Laboratory components and 50% in the combined Theory components. Please refer to the "Course Evaluation" section above for details on the Theory and Laboratory components (if applicable).

ExaminationsMidterm exam will be held in Week 7 of the course on Mar 1 at 11am, lasting for 2 hours, closed book and will cover all material from Weeks 1-6.
 Final exam during exam period will be three hours, closed-book and will cover all material from Weeks 8-11.
Other Evaluation InformationLabs will start in week 3. All labs will be related to the design and simulation of bioMEMS components/devices using the software package of Coventorware. The laboratory manuals will be posted on course shell on D2L. The introductory lab will be worth 5%. Labs 1 and 2 will worth 7.5% each.
 Course Project: Students will complete a course project on a topic of their choosing. Students will work in groups of 4 members (where applicable). Groups must be formed and group topic selected by week 4 of the term and must be approved by the course instructor (topics entered in the provided spreadsheet by 5pm Friday week 4). Details of the term project will be given during class and posted on the BME804 course shell.
 Project assessment:
 1 - Project description due in week 10 in D2L (30%)
 2 - Final presentations: Each group will present their course project in a 30-min presentation. Each member of the group must present (approx 7-8 min each). (70%)
Other InformationLectures: Friday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, DSQ12
 Lectures in general consist of:
 - Lecture material (course topics, examples etc.)
 - Group activities (discussions, project work)
 - Offline coursework (reading material, assignments, watch prerecoded videos (where applicable), self-organized group meetings etc.)

Course Content



Chapters /

Topic, description



Lecture Topic 1: Introduction to MEMS and BioMEMS. Introduction to MEMS and their applications.



Lecture Topic 2: Silicon Microfabrication Part I. Mask creation, silicon wafer preparation, photolithography, photoresist (positive or negative), UV exposure and development, etching methods, resist stripping.



Lecture Topic 3 : Silicon Microfabrication Part II. Thin films, thin film processes, deposition, micromachining, bonding.



Lecture Topic 4: Soft Fabrication and Polymers. Soft lithography - micromolding, photo polymerization, Smart polymers and hydrogels, thick-film technologies.
 Course Project: Group members and Project topic selection should be finalized.



Lecture Topic 5: Microfluidic Principles Part I. Microfluidics lab-on-a-chip - silicon, glass and polymer material.



Lecture Topic 6: Microfluidic Principles Part II. Electro-osmosis, electorphoresis, streaming potential, fluid dynamic principles.



Midterm Exam (2 hours closed book on material covered in weeks 1-6)



Lecture Topic 7: Sensor Principles and Microsensors. Thermal, mechanical, flow, magnetic and optical sensors.



Lecture Topic 8: Microactuators and Drug Delivery. Applications, role of actuators, activation methods, drug delivery systems.



Lecture Topic 9: Biosensors



No Class - Easter Good Friday



Lecture Topic 10: Packaging power and safety. System integration, RF safety, power transfer and data transmission, energy-harvesting.



Project Presentations & Review

Laboratory(L)/Tutorials(T)/Activity(A) Schedule






Lab 1- Introduction to ConventorWare & design example.
 Reports due in week 4, by Friday at 11.50PM



Lab 2 - Electrostatic 2D micro-mirror design and simulation.
 Reports due in week 9, by Friday at 11.50PM



Lab 3 - Electro-thermal micro-gripper Simulation.
 Reports due in week 12, by Friday at 11.50PM

University Policies & Important Information

Students are reminded that they are required to adhere to all relevant university policies found in their online course shell in D2L and/or on the Senate website

Refer to the Departmental FAQ page for furhter information on common questions.

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