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VSPARTICLE releases low-cost technology to print sensors, finally enabling Smart Contact Lenses

Just as Google’s Verily announces it will stop its smart lens development project, the Dutch startup releases a promising sensor printing technology that can finally bring a successful smart contact lens to market.

Delft, The Netherlands, November 26, 2018 – VSPARTICLE, today announced its low-cost technology to print nanostructured materials that will finally enable applications such as smart contact lenses to succeed. The nanotech company has developed an additive manufacturing technology that can be used for numerous applications, such as producing real-time medical sensors (glucose sensing, bio-marker sensing, etc.), as well as, accurate gas sensors.


VSPARTICLE is able to produce extremely sensitive materials, built up from pure metals and oxides, which can be printed on flexible substrates, such as polymers. Its technology provides the important accuracy required for glucose testing, as one example, and can be reproduced quickly. The main focus for this technology is sensors, semiconductors, micro-batteries, micro-LED’s and bioelectronics.  Google (Alphabet, Verily) announced in a blog post last week that it has stopped its glucose measuring smart lens project in part because ‘after four years of research detecting blood sugar in tears is a massive --- and potentially insurmountable --- technical and scientific undertaking.’

“Being able to print on curved, flexible surfaces is one of the biggest challenges for medical sensors, next to bio-compatibility of sensor material. With the lens we are able to solve both problems as we have demonstrated by printing a gold sensor on an ordinary contact lens,” says Vincent Laban, CFO for VSPARTICLE.


The university spinout, VSPARTICLE, makes machines that produce nanoparticles in the crucially important right amounts and sizes and does it with the push of a button. These particles serve as the foundation for new materials and nano-enabled products.  With the launch of its 3D Nanoprinter next year, it will make the printing of materials with nanoparticle properties just as simple and effective.


"The technology that VSP has developed has the potential to literally change the world. Every investor is looking for that special company that can actually have a real impact. VSPARTICLE is that company," says Keesjan Cordia, investor with Invaco Management, which seed funded the company in 2017. 


Science Fiction?

The potential for VSPARTICLE’s smart contact lens tech is extensive outside of its medical uses. Future scenarios already in development by companies and institutes such as IMEC, incorporate electronics and LEDs on contact lenses, or even involve recording video or taking photos using voluntary blinks to control the images. VSPARTCLE’s technology would play a key role in making such applications viable.  

Dutch Roots
The company was spun out of leading Dutch university, TU Delft, by professor Andreas Schmidt-Ott, scientist Tobias Pfeiffer and former student, Van Vugt in 2014. The entrepreneurs spent the first two years, improving and simplifying the technology to make it easy enough to get results with the push of a button.  Many believe the potential for VSPARTICLE’s technology is enormous.

About the Company
VSPARTICLE is the Dutch nanotechnology company that provides research and industry with the tools to manufacture nanoparticles and nanostructured materials. Since 2014, the company helps scientists and industry leaders to drastically reduce the development time of new materials and products, by making it as easy as pushing a button. VSPARTICLE is a privately funded company by investors who see untapped potential in the company, especially for applications in semiconductors, sensors, catalysis, healthcare, batteries, fuel cells and pv. The company currently employs 20 people at its headquarters in Delft, and has an international distribution network in the USA, Europe and Asia.

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PR contacts

Sara Palmbush

+31 (0)613014345

email Sara


Vincent Laban - CFO

+31 (0)6 19 301 486

email Vincent


Eva Rennen - Sustainability Strategist and Designer

+31 (0)88 308 04 17

email Eva

Articles on VSPARTICLE

October 12, 2018 - Jack Seaberry, nWN


Aaike van Vugt is the CEO and co-founder of VSPARTICLE, a company which supplies nanoparticle production technology. The spark ablation technique developed by the VSPARTICLE team is poised to revolutionize the field of nanotechnology by addressing root issues which have been hobbling
research and industrial adoption time.


Read the full article


12th June 2018 -  Scitech Europa


VSPARTICLE is on a mission to speed up research in new nanomaterials by automating the production of advanced nanomaterials. The company introduced the VSP-G1 with the philosophy that making nanomaterials for research should be quick and easy. With the option for a four-month trial period the technology will be accessible for any researcher.


Read more


October 2015 - Nature

Continuous gas-phase synthesis of nanoparticles is associated with rapid agglomeration, which can be a limiting factor for numerous applications. In this report, we challenge this paradigm by providing experimental evidence to support that gas-phase methods can be used to produce ultrapure non-agglomerated “singlet” nanoparticles having tunable sizes at room temperature.


Read the full article

Authors: Jicheng Feng George Bisko & Andreas Schmidt-Ott

Previous press releases



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Last week, the moment had finally arrived for Delft nanotech startup VSParticle: the start of the Soft Landing Program by InnovationQuarter, Medical Delta and UC (Berkeley) CITRIS. The Program is being implemented under a MoU signed in 2016 by the above parties in the presence of Minister Jet Bussemaker.

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DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY OF VSPARTICLE ALLOWS RESEARCHERS TO PRODUCE NANOPARTICLES AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON.  Beijing/Delft, November 16, 2017 – Delft University of Technology spin-off VSPARTICLE enters the booming Chinese market with a radical technology that allows researchers to produce nanoparticles at the push of a button. VSPARTICLE’s nanoparticle generator uses atoms, the worlds’ smallest building blocks, to provide a controllable source of nanoparticles. The start-up from Delft signed a distribution agreement with Bio-Sun to make their VSP-G1 nanoparticle generator available in China. 


Tuesday, February 24th, VSParticle won the STARTUP Competition. This competition is a collaboration between Delft University of Technology and MIT to encourage entrepreneurship. The winners of the competition will be fully sponsored to go to MIT for three months this summer to take part in the Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator.



The finals took place during the Entrepreneurship Forum in the Auditorium of Delft University of Technology. In front of a packed auditorium the six companies, consisting of PowerWindow, VSParticle, Atmos UAV, Samsara, Beacon en CoH co., had ninety seconds to pitch their startup and answer a few questions from the jury. A great success, according to Kyle Judah, Program Director MIT GFSA: “Students were excited, the teams performed really really well”. After a short discussion by the jury, the jury chairman Theun Baller, dean of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, announced the winning team. The jury selected VSParticle based on the following criteria: “Is it real Delft Technology? Is it close to market? And which team would benefit most from a stay at MIT?”.


Aaike van Vugt and Tobias Pfeiffer are the founders of VSParticle. Having a background in Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology, they developed a bench top unit that enables the production and deposition of nanoparticles on a carrier in one step, removing all intermediate processes, shipping, and handling costs. For this they used a process based on spark-ablation, developed at Delft University of Technology, that reduces all process steps back to just one single process. This is ground-breaking technology that could lead to many innovations, or how Aaike put it: “We want to bring you guys the next generation of products!”.

Prestigious startup-programme

De MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator is an annual educational programme for students of MIT and is the premier university student accelerator in the world. Each year about ten teams of MIT will be selected as well as four teams from other universities. Due to the close collaboration between Delft University of Technology and MIT, this year a team of Delft students gets the opportunity to partake in the programme. From June till September teams are being prepared for entrepreneurship and are being supported in developing their startup. During these three months teams can earn up to $20,000 by meeting monthly milestones. In the beginning of September the teams will present their startup to American investors during Demo Day to secure enough investment for a successful start of their company.


At the beginning of February a selection of the applicants for the STARTUP Competitionpitched in front of a jury during the semi-finals. Five teams were then selected to pitch at the finals. The winners of the course ‘Turning Technology into Business’ became the sixth candidate this year.

Entrepreneurship Forum

The Entrepreneurship Forum is an event organised by YES!Delft Students to which around a thousand students attend yearly. At this event founders and CEO’s of successful companies share their stories with students and in between their presentations the finalists of STARTUP pitch. In this way an interesting mix forms of lectures from professionals on the one hand and pitches of young talent on the other hand.