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Biomolecular recognition by integrated smart-sensor technology

Objective

The goal of the research in which this assessment project is framed, is the design, realization on standard CMOS technology and testing of a field-effect based integrated electronic device suitable for the detection of bio molecular recognition processes on a sensing surface where analysis takes place. The application domain is the medical self-test for many diseases related to DNA (e.g. tracking the activity of thousands of genes at once with a matrix of such devices would enable to monitor how patterns of gene expression change in diseases such as cancer) and proteins (e.g. monitoring the expression of nuclear proteins with specific alterations could bring to prompt diagnostic assessments). Result of the assessment phase is to establish if the proposed field effect devices realized on low-cost technology are feasible for the detection of such interactions. The goal of the research in which this assessment project is framed, is the design, realization on standard CMOS technology and testing of a field-effect based integrated electronic device suitable for the detection of bio molecular recognition processes on a sensing surface where analysis takes place. The application domain is the medical self-test for many diseases related to DNA (e.g. tracking the activity of thousands of genes at once with a matrix of such devices would enable to monitor how patterns of gene expression change in diseases such as cancer) and proteins (e.g. monitoring the expression of nuclear proteins with specific alterations could bring to prompt diagnostic assessments). Result of the assessment phase is to establish if the proposed field effect devices realized on low-cost technology are feasible for the detection of such interactions.

OBJECTIVES
This project concerns the design, realization and testing of an integrated electronic device suitable for the detection of bio molecular recognition processes on a sensing surface. This will be composed of a sensor array and proper circuits able to extract processed information exploiting the know-how on smart-sensors present in the consortium. Thanks to the foreseen reduction of costs, the application domain of this system is, besides the obvious lab use, the medical self-test for many DNA- and protein-related diseases (e.g., tracking the activity of thousands of genes at once would enable to monitor how patterns of gene expression change in diseases such as cancer, and monitoring nuclear proteins with specific alterations could bring to prompt diagnostic assessments). This will pave the way to a new generation of products in form of disposable kits.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
This project focuses on the development of a sensor for bio molecular recognition processes.
The sensing surface will consist of an array of smart sensors, each made by a sensing area where the biochemical signal is transduced into an electrical quantity with side circuits devoted to the amplification and elaboration of the electrical signal produced in the sensing area. The basic idea of the project (and the object of the assessment) is the development of a new type of sensing field effect devices able to detect charge distribution modifications inherent to any biochemical process. The use of standard CMOS technology field-effect devices leads, as required by the application domain, to low cost and small area devices. As the requirements of such kind of sensors, in terms of selectivity and sensitivity, are very strict, an assessment is needed to verify the feasibility of the approach.
The following tasks are foreseen:
1.Theoretical study on a proper field-effect sensor and realization of a simple sensor;
2.Selection of biomolecules;
3.Invetigation of the inorganic/organic interface;
4.Assembling of the bio molecular layers;
5.Structural, and functional test and comparison with optical techniques;
6.Interpretation of the test results.
The consortium has a considerable know-how in all fields required to successfully perform the above activities, specifically: design and synthesis of oligonucleotide single strands, proteins and DNA experiments, physics of interface between inorganic and organic materials, smart sensors microelectronic design.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI CAGLIARI
Address
Piazza D'armi
09123 Cagliari
Italy

Participants (2)

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE PER LA FISICA DELLA MATERIA
Italy
Address
Corso F. Perrone 24
16152 Genova
USTAV MOLEKULARNEJ BIOLOGIE SAV
Slovakia
Address
Dubravska Cesta 21
842 51 Bratislava