Rui Pinto – AIM Fellow 2015

Rui Pinto_AIM 2015


Rui Pinto has undergraduate degrees (bachelor and master) in Biomedical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon.

His PD-FCT AIM project is entitled “Thin-film MEMS for Biosensing applications”. This project takes place at INESC MN and INL. The thesis is supervised by João Pedro Conde (INESC MN and Department of Bioengineering of Técnico) and co-supervised by João Gaspar (INL). His doctoral program started on October 1st 2015.

Project Goals

- Development of micromechanical (MEMS) mass sensors for liquid media operation.

- Apply the MEMS mass sensor to biosensing: the specific detection of molecules of interest (biomarkersfor medical diagnosis, food contaminants, environmental pollutants, etc.)

- Integration of the MEMS mass sensor with compact electronic readout circuitry in order to obtain a lab-on-chip platform.

Ongoing activities

- Selective immobilization of DNA probes on MEMS sensors for the detection of DNA hybridization using stress-mode.

- Biosensing of nucleic acids and proteins using micromechanical sensors operating in the stress-mode.

- Integration of MEMS resonators in an electronic oscillator.

Achieved Project Milestones

- Reproducible fabrication of micromechanical (MEMS) resonators based on a-Si:H deposited on glass (2015).

- Integration of MEMS chips with microfluidics for fluid handling (2015).

- Improvement of MEMS chip design for improved electronic characterization (2016).

- Tuning of thin-film residual stress – important for correct sensor 3D conformation and performance

- Preparing a setup for the measurement of static deflection of MEMS sensors operating on the stressmode

- Development of a portable setup prototype for the measurement of MEMS sensors operating in the
stress-mode (2018).

- Study of phase noise/frequency stability of MEMS resonators operating in vacuum and air (2018).

- Mass sensitivity and mass limits of detection of MEMS cantilevers operating in vacuum and air (2018)

Teaching and Divulgation Activities

- Supervision of a Master Student: Michael Kraus (2015).

- Supervision of MEMS experiments involving students of the Advanced Experimental Physics IST course

- Supervision of a Master Student: Pedro Brito (2017).

- Participation in the European Researchers’ Night (2017).

- Supervision of MEMS experiments involving students of the Advanced Experimental Physics IST course

Courses/Workshops Attended

- Attended a pressure sensor microfabrication course: Summer School at the University of Applied
Sciences Kaiserslautern, Germany (2015).

- Bioentrepreneurship course (IST) completed (2016).

- Teaching and Scientific Communication course (IST) completed (2016).

- General Doctoral Formation course (IST) completed (2016).

- Vibrations and Noise course (IST) completed (2017).

- Sensors, Instrumentaion and Measurements in Biological Systems course (IST) completed (2018).

Conferences Attended

- Oral Presentation + Poster in the 32nd European Frequency and Time Forum (EFTF) 2018, in Torino, Italy, with the work entitled “a-Si:H Thin-Film MEMS: Towards Mass Sensing Applications”.