Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2008 Research Summary

Post-IC CMOS Molecular Sensors

View Current Project Information

Karl Ryszard Skucha, Bernhard Boser and Ali Javey

Lab-on-chip molecular sensors offer many benefits from miniaturization of traditional laboratory components, such as smaller sample requirements, reduced reagent consumption, decreased analysis time, and higher levels of throughput and automation. By implementing various laboratory functions through large-scale semiconductor manufacturing, these systems are promising for low-cost, automated chemical and biological diagnostics.

This project aims to develop a process flow to integrate molecular transducers, currently nanowires and Hall sensors, directly on top of a completed CMOS chip (Figures 1 and 2). The underlying CMOS circuitry will provide signal readout and conditioning whereas the transducers will be functionalized with molecular receptors to selectively detect the analytes of interest (Figure 3). Combined with the efforts of others in our research group, the overall goal is to create a low-cost and easy-to-use autonomous system for detecting various agents at the molecular and cellular level in the point-of-care (POC) setting.

Figure 1
Figure 1: System architecture of sensor with nanowire transducers

Figure 2
Figure 2: System architecture of sensor with Hall effect transducers and with magnetic beads as labels

Figure 3
Figure 3: Detection protocol showing a sensor functionalized with receptors that allow the target analytes to remain bound after washing

Aytur et al., "A Novel Magnetic Bead Bioassay Platform Using a Microchip-based Sensor for Infectious Disease Diagnosis," Journal of Immunological Methods, Vol. 314, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 21-29.
Besse et al., "Detection of Single Magnetic Microbead Using a Miniaturized Silicon Hall Sensor," Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 80, No. 22, June 2002, pp. 4199-4201.
Patolsky et al., "Nanowire-Based Biosensors," Anal. Chem., Vol. 78, 2006.