Characterization of micromachined silicon membranes for immunoisolation and bioseparation applications

Tejal A. Desai, Derek Hansford, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


The application of microfabrication technology to create precise separation and isolation membranes for biomedical applications is described. By utilizing fabrication techniques commonly employed in the microelectronics industry (MEMS), membranes can be fabricated with well-controlled and uniform pore sizes, allowing the optimization of membrane parameters for biomedical applications in cell immunoisolation and viral filtration. Using bulk and surface micromachining to create diffusion membranes, pore sizes down to 18nm have been attained through deposition and subsequent etching of sacrificial layers on silicon. Membranes were shown to be sufficiently permeable to small biomolecules such as oxygen, glucose, and insulin, while excluding the passage of larger proteins such as immunoglobulin G (IgG). The semipermeability of microfabricated membranes, their biocompatibility, ease in sterilization, along with their thermal and chemical stability, may provide a significant advantages for biomedical applications. Microfabrication technology may also be applied to other materials of interest for the development of highly controlled membranes. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999


  • Bioseparation
  • Biotechnology
  • Immunoisolation
  • Inorganic membranes
  • Membrane
  • Micromachining
  • Protein diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation
  • Polymers and Plastics


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