The Korean Research and Development Program on Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) in medical applications

Tae Song Kim, Sung June Kim, Bong Hyun Chung, Kyung Hwa Yoo, Seon Hee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Non or minimally invasive approaches for medical applications are very important for the alleviation of patient complaints. The miniaturization of medical devices using micro & nano technologies might be one of the possible solutions. Several national research and development (R&D) programs have been launched by the Korean government to further the development of biological & medical micro/nano devices in this country. This paper gives an overview of the current status of national R&D programs which are related to the development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)/Nano technology in biological and medical applications and discusses the main activities of each program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalMinimally Invasive Therapy and Allied Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Yonsei Nanomedical Research Center was founded in December 2004 as a National Core Research Center (NCRC) program, initiated and supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation under the Ministry of Science and Technology-Korea, for the purpose of multidisciplinary research and education in the field of nanomedical science and engineering. Twenty-seven major researchers participate in this center. Among them, 14 researchers are in the school of science or engineering and the others are in the medical school (27).

Funding Information:
For the last one or two decades, great attention has been paid to the development of extreme miniaturization technology to understand micro/nano scale phenomena and devices. The G7 MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) program, which was launched in 1996, is the first full-scale research and development (R&D) program for miniaturized device fabrication supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE), although various small R&D projects for microsystems technology had been previously funded by the Korean government. The main goals of this program were the development of the foundations of the various micro-machining processes, materials and methods, and the commercialization of MEMS technology. It is generally perceived that the foundation for microsystems technology in Korea is provided by the G7 MEMS program. Within the framework of the program, a miniaturized active catheter for intravascular minimally invasive surgery has been developed as a unique device related to the medical area (1). After the G7 MEMS program, the Korean Government has launched 23 different kinds of R&D programs in the area of micro/nano, biological, information and robot technologies, etc. under the name of the ‘‘21st century Frontier R&D program’’ from 1999 to 2003; this program has been conceived for a period of ten years to further the selective and intensive development of strategic technologies in order to enhance national scientific competitiveness. The Intelligent Microsystems Program (IMP) is the first among these 23 programs which has been dedicated to the development of microsystems technology related to biological & medical applications. Additionally, clean room facilities for MEMS & Nano device have also been installed for the increase of MEMS & Nano research activities (2,3). In this paper, we introduce the current main R&D programs for the development of MEMS/Nano technology for the application to

Funding Information:
The Intelligent Microsystems Program (IMP), is part of the 21st Century Frontier R&D Program sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. It addresses the development of intelligent microsystems, which have a high marketing potential. The core strategy of the IMP is to develop world-leading products in the field of the bio-medical market, which is expected to grow rapidly. The main target products of IMP are biomedical devices such as a capsule endoscope and a micro biomedical diagnostic system.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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