Fraunhofer USA CMI

An overview of our facilities with over 24,000 feet research space.



Fraunhofer USA CMI is located in Boston, MA, on Boston University’s campus. Our facility has 24,000 sq. ft. of laboratory and shop space, including two BL1 and three BL2 laboratories, a rapid prototyping lab, a project development lab, a machine development lab, a Class 1000 clean room, and a 9000 sq. ft. machining and test area. Fraunhofer USA CMI also maintains 4200 sq. ft. of office space.


Two BL1 and three BL2 laboratories,

Rapid prototyping lab,

Project development lab,

Machine development lab,

Class 1000 clean room,

9000 sq. ft. machining and test area. 

The laboratories are capable of supporting the design and manufacture of a multitude of bioengineering projects including the hardware and the biological development. Two BL2 labs contain facilities for bacterial cell culture, human sample handling, protein chemistry, and molecular biology and a third BL2 lab for mammalian cell culture.  A BL1 lab/clean room is used for clean and sterile assembly of devices.

Fraunhofer USA CMI has specialized facilities and equipment for imaging (both bright field and fluorescence optical microscopes) and metrology (optical comparator, profilometers, etc.). The BL1 and BL2 laboratories are outfitted with standard laboratory equipment (centrifuges, ultrasonicators, refrigerators, freezers, gel electrophoresis apparati, incubators, pipettors, spectrophotometer, etc.) as well as biosafety cabinets and a chemical fume hood.

Additionally, Fraunhofer USA CMI has access to Boston University’s core facilities, including the Photonics Center, which is located across the street from CMI.  BU’s Photonics center is a $100M, 250,000 sq. ft. research facility dedicated to advanced engineering research.  The Photonics center has several advanced tools useful for nanoscale research, such as a scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, FTIR spectrometer, and a fabrication laboratory suitable for MEMS fabrication.



Fraunhofer USA CMI has an extensive array of specialized high precision machining equipment, including:

High speed five axis CNC milling machine,

Custom laser writing/drilling/welding system,

Three axis vertical mill

Ultraprecision machining center (sub-micron diamond milling and turning),

Super precision Hardinge turret lathe,

Standard machine shop (bandsaw, drill press, manual milling machine, etc.)

We also have state-of-the-art 3D rapid prototyping capability.




Computers, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Manufacturing (CAM):

Our engineering staff have high powered CAD workstations to conduct their computer aided design. They primarily design and fabricate work with:

PTC Creo (including Creo 3, Creo 2, Wildfire 3),

AutoCAD / AutoCAD Electrical 2009, and MasterCAM x6 . 

Additionally, we have access to various modeling software as needed (e.g. Comsol, MatLab, and Mechanica).

Biological and Chemical Equipment

Class 2a biosafety cabinets 

Laminar flow hood

Chemical fume hood

UV-vis spectrophotometers 

Eppendorf gradient mastercycler thermal cycler.

Phase-contrast and fluorescence microscope with automated x-y-z stage and digital camera

Plasma Technologies PS-0500, low pressure plasma chemical vapor deposition system


Bright field microscopes 

Refrigerated centrifuges (250mL volumes) 

Labconco laboratory glassware washer

Barnstead NANOpure Diamond DI system


CO2 water jacketed and standard incubators


Orbital shakers

Heatblocks, Vortexers, pH meters

Gel electrophoresis apparati 

Zeiss field emission scanning electron microscope*

Digital Instruments scanning probe atomic force microscope*

PicoForce Scanning Probe microscope*

Applied BioSystems 7500 Thermal Cycler*

Molecular Devices Spectromax M5 Fluorometer*

FTIR spectrometer*

Standard pipettors, glassware, etc.


Nanoscale manufacturing

Class 1000 and Class 100* clean rooms

Surface profilers

Wyko interferometric microscope*

Rudolph Ellipsometer*

PVA TePla America Plasma asher*

BOC Edwards thermal evaporator*

Sharon Vacuum electron beam evaporator*

Ion beam assisted deposition*

Surface Technology Systems deep reactive ion etcher*

Atomic force microscopy*

*Fraunhofer USA CMI has access to Boston University’s core facilities including those located at the Photonics Center and Biomedical Engineering across the street.




Custom instruments made by Fraunhofer USA CMI

2 Fluorescence/phase contrast microscopic workstations with automated stages outfitted with temperature and fluidic control

First generation fully automated lab-on-a-chip instrument (sample to answer functionality)

Multi-functional instrument for high throughput micro-column liquid handling

Multiplexed tissue homogenizer


Sensor characterization and operation system

TMC Optical Table Top with Faraday cage

Micromanipulator custom probe station and micromanipulators

Meiji stereozoom microscope

Molecular Devices Axopatch 200

Molecular Devices Multiclamp 700B

Molecular Devices Digidata 1322A