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BIODOT Informe resumido

Project ID: 32652
Financiado con arreglo a: FP6-NMP
País: Italy

Final Report Summary - BIODOT (Sensing BIOsystems and their Dynamics in fluids with Organic Transistors)

The detection of biological and chemical species is central to many areas of health care and the life sciences, ranging from diagnosing diseases, to the discovery and screening of new drug molecules. Neuroscience, as well as diagnostics and therapies of neurological diseases, demand for development of new devices with a highly sensitive mechanism of transduction of the biological and chemical signals.

Devices based on organic semiconductors emerge as a powerful and versatile class of ultrasensitive electrical transducers for label-free detection of biological species. These devices can be fabricated and integrated with micro- and nanofluidics devices by the use of sustainable nanofabrication techniques; they can be downscaled and endowed with specific recognition functionality by materials design. BIODOT has addressed and demonstrated a hybrid bio-organic technology for label-free transduction of biomolecules' slow dynamics and cell signals in-vitro.

The technology able to treat organic materials and devices, membranes and biomolecules, cells on same footings has been developed. This is a non trivial outcome, and has requested a considerable effort in designing collaborative experiments with integration of competences at the same node, devising of new protocols of operations and interactions, and coordinate an intense networking. Patterning and device fabrication have been aligned to the sterility requirements of cell cultures, a result which is not trivial to obtain since sterilisation of organic devices cannot be made by traditional laboratory methods.

Two device layouts based on organic thin film transistors integrated with microfluidics have been developed within the project:
i) a single gate ultra-thin film transistor;
ii) a dual gate ultra-thin film transistor, with a reference electrode.

These devices respond to changes of the electrostatic charge at the interface between the biosystems in the solution and the organic semiconductor within the Debye-Helmholtz layer. In the former device, this was achieved through a modification in the density of charge carriers similar to doping of the organic semiconductor. In the latter, through a change of the electrostatic surface potential.

BIODOT has brought the knowledge and the technology of the biological transducer based on organic semiconductors at the state-of-the-art. Sensor operations in aqueous media, the possibility to interface the active layer to systems of increasing complexity such as biomolecules (DNA, antibodies, beta amyloid peptides), recognition layers to neural cells and networks and finally, the transduction of signals correlated to the viability of cells have been demonstrated. The project has also achieved a substantial control on reproducibility, stability and sensitivity level of the devices, as well as on the spatial control of the biological system integrated in the device, which has lead us to assess the technology developed.

An unforeseen outcome of BIODOT has been the founding of a new spin off company, Nano4bio Srl, in Bologna Italy. Its mission is to develop patterning technology for cell cultures and tissues. Another outcome is that the partner Scriba Nanotecnologie Srl is now designing and manufacturing microfluidics setups on demand for the research market.

More than 22 papers on high impact international journals have been published and other 9 have been published after the end of the project. A patent application has been deposited.

BIODOT has effectively demonstrated the concept of converging technologies by merging two enabling technological platforms, bio- and nanotechnology, in which the European Union has invested substantial resources. It has opened broad market segments to multifunctional materials and organic electronics, beyond consumer electronics and displays. The outcome of BIODOT and its long-term objectives are consistent with the concepts of European Research Area (ERA) and the development of a knowledge-based economy as stated in the Lisbon conference.

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