Sembler reduces time from inspiration to innovation
CAMBRIDGE, MA – The time required to move a product from concept to manufacture can make or break a startup company. Buying prototyping and testing equipment may be unaffordable. Hiring for-profit organizations for small volume prototyping can be budget-breaking. Universities typically require long and unpredictable lead times, delaying a company's time to market.
Draper is addressing this unmet need within the innovation ecosystem by offering its resources, facilities, and more than 80 years of multidisciplinary engineering and development experience to entrepreneurs. The company’s Sembler initiative offers startups an easy, inexpensive way to get their microfluidic prototypes built on a consistent, reliable production schedule, enabling them to focus time and energy on their core technology. Sembler customers can develop microfluidic devices that may be used for applications ranging from isolating cells of interest to testing new drugs.
“There are so many startups doing so many amazing things, but too often they struggle to access the equipment or fabrication processes they need to bring their ideas to market. Draper has a wide spectrum of these resources that can help startups realize their vision,” said Nathan Wiedenman, Sembler program manager. “Through Sembler, we can help them refine their designs, build prototypes for testing, and quickly iterate to mature their concepts while they maintain their intellectual property.”
Entrepreneurs can receive prototypes within a few weeks after logging on to the Sembler website and submitting their design for a rule check, while Sembler protects the entrepreneurs’ intellectual property throughout. Sembler is in the midst of the initial fabrication run of prototypes, and has an Oct. 13 deadline for submissions for the second run.
Draper’s own work on microfluidics includes the development of a drug delivery device that could improve the confidence of preclinical trials for hearing loss treatments, as well as a lung device that offers safer, more effective respiratory therapy.
Draper has designed and developed microelectronic components and systems going back to the mid-1980s. Our integrated, ultra-high density (iUHD) modules of heterogeneous components feature system functionality in the smallest form factor possible through integration of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology with Draper-developed custom packaging and interconnect technology. Draper continues to pioneer custom Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and custom radio frequency components for both commercial (microfluidic platforms organ assist, drug development, etc.) and government (miniaturized data collection, new sensors, Micro-sats, etc.) applications. Draper features a complete in-house iUHD and MEMS fabrication capability and has existing relationships with many other MEMS and microelectronics fabrication facilities.
Draper’s Biomedical Solutions capability centers on the application of microsystems, miniaturized electronics, computational modeling, algorithm development and image and data analytics applied to a range of challenges in healthcare and related fields. Draper fills that critical engineering niche that is required to take research or critical requirements and prototype or manufacture realizable solutions. Some specific examples are MEMS, microfluidics and nanostructuring applied to the development of wearable and implantable medical devices, organ-assist devices and drug-delivery systems. Novel neural interfaces for prosthetics and for treatment of neurological conditions are being realized through a combination of integrated miniaturized electronics and microfabrication technologies.
Draper continues to develop its expertise in designing, characterizing and processing materials at the macro-, micro- and nanoscales. Understanding the physical properties and behaviors of materials at these various scales is vital to exploit them successfully in designing components or systems. This enables the development and integration of biomaterials, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, wafer fabrication, chemical and electrochemical materials and structural materials for application to system-level solutions required of government and commercial sponsors.