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Micro-Inductive Based Biosensor Arrays for Very High Sensitivity Detection

Objective

Detection of biological agents is critical in many fields related to public health, foods industry, environmental control, water management and clinical and diagnostic analysis. In these fields there is an important need for the development of biosensor systems with low cost, high sensitivity and specificity, ease to transport for in-situ measurements, short analysis time and simple operation (easy handling). All these demand for the development of micromachined devices based in magnetic immunoassay techniques. In this project, microcoils are proposed as inductive transducers for the development of very high sensitivity and low cost biosensor arrays for the above-mentioned wide range of applications. This requires a previous assessment step in order to validate the ability of standard Si micromachining technologies for the proposed devices. Detection of biological agents is critical in many fields related to public health, foods industry, environmental control, water management and clinical and diagnostic analysis. In these fields there is an important need for the development of biosensor systems with low cost, high sensitivity and specificity, ease to transport for in-situ measurements, short analysis time and simple operation (easy handling). All these demand for the development of micromachined devices based in magnetic immunoassay techniques. In this project, microcoils are proposed as inductive transducers for the development of very high sensitivity and low cost biosensor arrays for the above-mentioned wide range of applications. This requires a previous assessment step in order to validate the ability of standard Si micromachining technologies for the proposed devices.

OBJECTIVES
The main objective of this project is the development of micro-inductive Biosensor arrays in standard CMOS Si technology for very high sensitivity detection. These devices are to be integrated in compact systems characterised by their low cost, high sensitivity, simple use, in-situ measuring capability (portability), and easy handling. In a first assessment phase (phase I), the project proposes the development of an integrated inductive sensor with sensitivity to detection of 10 magnetic nanoparticles. At this level, the project is not aimed to the development of a specific biological application, but to the design, fabrication and validation of the magnetic sensor device as integrated transducer. The design of the system includes that of the electronic circuit for the inductance determination of the microcoil, which is critical to achieve the required sensitivity. In a second phase (phase II is the ongoing three years full research project), the optimisation of the devices for the design and development of higher performance integrated sensor arrays to be applied for the high sensitivity detection of a concrete biomolecule will be addressed.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The Phase I of the project (assessment phase) is structured in 4 main tasks: 1.Design of the integrated device: Devices will be simulated under conditions modelling the presence of magnetic particles in their nucleus, to determine the geometrical features of the inductance structure. This task will also include the study on the most suited materials for the coils. At a final step, a set of masks will be provided;
2.Technology: Fabrication of the devices will be made in the Clean Room facilities of partner CNM-CSIC using standard CMOS Si technology. Test structures will be integrated in the processed wafers for the validation of the different technology steps;
3.Design and implementation of electronic circuitry: This will be done in direct interaction with task 1, as the structure of the devices and their characteristics strongly condition the optimum signal detection and processing design. This will be done taking into account the characteristics of simplicity, flexibility and sensitivity (noise rejected) of the aimed system. At this stage, circuitry will be implemented in a discrete way;
4.Characterisation of devices: Detection of magnetic particles. At this task, the validation of the devices as inductive sensors will be addressed, determining the characteristics of the system (sensor + electronics) for detection of the magnetic nanoparticles. The proposed goal for this assessment phase is the fabrication of devices with sensitivity down to 10 magnetic nanoparticles.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAD DE BARCELONA
Address
Gran Via Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona
Spain

Participants (2)

CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
C/ Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
UNIVERSITA DI CATANIA
Italy
Address
Piazza Universita 2
95124 Catania