In the current microbiological and molecular analysis as well as in medical diagnostics very time consuming methods and principles are used, requiring complicated and expensive measuring devices and highly qualified staff. This trial aims at the development of a microsystem-based analysis device with a sensor element for spectrophotometrical data acquisition and an ASIC with an implemented neural network hardware as data processing part. The use of the innovative, but not market introduced neural network technology as a micro-subsystem will enable the proposer to develop a new device with integrated expert knowledge which will allow to introduce a new generation of analysis devices to the market. In parallel, the project will clearly demonstrate the advantages of neural network technology and advanced microsystems and will lower the barriers for their further use in various industry sectors and applications.
Objective of this proposal is the design of a re-usable, hardware-based neural network ASIC as data processing unit of a microsystem, its combination with an already existing microsensor element and the integration of the sensor-ASIC-system into an analysis device to be used in biotechnology, medicine, food industry etc. The analysis principle is based on the measurement of agglutination processes and allows to detect different kinds of micro-organisms. The integration of expert knowledge will make possible the introduction of this analysis method and substitute expensive and time-consuming offline-laboratory measurements by fast and reliable process analysis. The new features can be obtained only by the application of microsystem and ASIC technology and will clearly demonstrate the benefits of their use. Commercial objective is the penetration of a mass market.
The work on the project will be divided into the following activities:
- Knowledge transfer in the area of neural network, ASIC and microsystem technology from GEMAC to amtec to enable amtec to use the full capabilities of these technologies for product specification and further development steps;
- Specification of the spectrophotometrical device for the measurement of agglutination in medical and biotechnological suspensions (agglutimeter);
- Definition of hardware structures for the neural network ASIC and interface definition to the sensor;
- Design of neural network hardware according to the features specified before;
- ASIC prototyping and component test;
- Development of the sensor-ASIC-subsystem and test;
- Implementation of the subsystem into the agglutimeter;
- Test and evaluation of the agglutimeter prototype in a field test under real conditions. In this task, the agglutimeter will be used for the analysis of different strains used for biotechnological production processes and medical cultures. This step also includes the implementation of expert knowledge into the system;
- Iteration cycle for the re-training of the network (if necessary);
- Measurement and evaluation of results to prepare dissemination material which describes for other potential users of the technology the functional, economic and competitive advantages when using ASIC and microsystem technology;
- Dissemination activities to stimulate re-use including direct contacts to potential users.
M1: Training activities finished, website operational;
M2: Specification for neural network subsystem, sensor interface and agglutimeter;
M3: Simulated neural network;
M4: First Progress report;
M5: ASIC design finished, second progress report;
M6: Agglutimeter prototype with integrated sensor-ASIC system ready for test;
M7: End of project: Final Report and tested prototype, dissemination documents and activities.
Funding SchemeACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures