The B-ASICS project aims to develop biological and chemical sensors for clinical and environmental applications, and in particular, methods to directly determine antibody-antigen reactions for rapid clinical screening and to determine metal ion concentration in fresh water for industrial effluent monitoring.
Chemical sensing principles and techniques required for measuring metal ions in industrial effluents have been demonstrated to parts per billion (ppb) sensitivity limits and with more than adequate specificity for the metals of interest (cadmium, zinc, lead and copper). Detailed component and system designs have been undertaken. A portable personal computer (PC) based instrument for easy use in the field has been designed.
Work is also underway on developing techniques for direct measurement of proteins using microelectronics compatible technology. Concentration on capacitive detection methods, the consortium has made major progress in binding proteins to semiconductor compatible surfaces and then determining the presence of antibody-antigen immunological reactions. Simulation studies of the protein/fluid/sensor surface are being used to understand these complex reactions. Compatibility of the techniques with microelectronics back end processes and specialized packaging techniques for such sensors are also being addressed.
The target is to develop low-cost, easy-to-use technologies which combine the power of microelectronics with advances in chemistry and microbiology to achieve the project's goals. The process technology will be a 1.5 micron CMOS technology, supporting an extensive analogue and digital cell library and special process modifications for such devices as ISFETs.
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LA22 0LP Ambleside