Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


RECEPTRONICS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 17114
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Italy

Integrating biology and electronics for hybrid technology

An EU-funded project delivered advanced systems of integrated microelectronics and nanoelectronics. Experimental results demonstrate the potential of biomorphic hybrid technology for cost-effective system miniaturisation.
Integrating biology and electronics for hybrid technology
The 'Label free biomolecular detectors: at the convergence of bioengineered receptors and microelectronics' (Receptronics) project set out to develop low-cost, label-free biomolecular detectors/sentinels by bringing together microelectronics and bionanotechnology. The approach was based on the use of biotechnology for boosting overall performance of newly designed low-consumption, low-cost miniaturised systems with high sensitivity and selectivity.

To achieve project objectives and meet the challenges for application across a variety of application, study focused on the design, fabrication, testing and validation of a hybrid technology inspired by living organisms. Here, biological self-assembling structures were interfaced with electronic circuits for signal detection, amplification and conditioning. This is relevant to advances in data processing and storage architectures as well for conceiving a platform for health applications.

Receptronics partners worked to merge several technologies so as to realise a new approach to detecting single-target molecules. By embedding bioengineered ion channels or receptors in the lipid bilayers, a membrane can be made functional and thus permit highly specific interactions with target molecules. Each nano-spot is coupled with an electronic interface so that signals produced by the transmembrane ion fluxes can be detected, amplified and conditioned.

Over the course of the project, researchers designed and tested a compact electronic system capable of single-molecule event detection. As large as a credit card, this system constituted a pioneering first step towards the goal of designing efficient and integrated electronics for interfacing bionanosystems.

The project team was able to realise the recording of single-molecule events on arrays of electrically addressable micro- and nano-spots. Other Receptronics successes included optimising receptor bioengineering procedures to achieve reduced development time of target molecules. Methodology related to these procedures was published in an international journal. Activities also resulted in the design of a silicon chip, the successful testing of which showed performances comparable to those delivered by state-of-the-art bulky instrumentation.

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