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Content archived on 2024-05-27

A Bioanalytical Microsystem Based On An Optical Microchip


The objective of the proposal is to develop a working prototype of a portable bioanalytical microsystem for clinical and biological applications. The microsystem is based on a monolithically integrated miniaturized silicon optical biosensor equipped with immunoaffinity and DNA recognition layers. The optical transducer consists of light sources, optical fibres and detectors monolithically integrated on a silicon chip through integrated circuit technology and is capable of performing fast assays without the need of external optical components. The system will also consist of the control and signal processing electronics, the appropriate packaging of the sensor die, the microfluidic module and the basic analysis software. Due to the miniaturized optical transducer die it will be suitable for point of use biomedical, industrial and environmental testing.

Work description:
The micro-optical chip, which is the heart of the proposed system, uses as light emitting devices silicon avalanche diodes while the detectors are standard p/n junctions optically coupled to the light emitters by Si3N4 waveguides. Here, the new element is the self-alignment of the Si3N4 fibre to the emitter and the detector and the way the fibre bends from the field oxide to the end points of the optical link for efficient coupling. Such a device will be fabricated through standard Silicon processing steps including oxidation, (wet and dry) implantation, annealing, film deposition by LPCVD and 5 lithographic steps. After silicon processing is completed, the fibres are properly and selectively derivatised by a number of recognition biomolecules and the chip is packaged along with the microfluidics module and the control and the processing electronics. The sensor performance will be tested against specific antigens and nucleotide oligomers. The system in its final form will consist of the integrated sensor die mounted with the microfluidics module (for analyte sample and reagent application) on a hybrid package along with the front-end analog readout electronics, the control and digital signal processing electronics. Software will control the electronics and provide basic analytic functions. The methodology to be employed aims at maximizing the extent of biomolecular photonic transistions to increase sensitivity. This is accomplished by the interaction of waveguided photons through evanescent wave optics with the fluorophore and/or nanoparticle bearing biomolecules.

Fabrication of monolithic optoelectronical circuits using standard silicon technology. Functionalised optoelectronical silicon dies with protein and DNA recognition elements. Readout and control electronics and user friendly interface. Microfluidic module and system integration of all optoelectronical, mechanical and electronic components. Testing of the complete microsystem against specific multianalyte protein and DNA assays.


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Participants (5)