Biochip Detection System (23072)

The “BioChip” invention electronically detects biomolecules and toxic agents. When a target species chemically binds to the surface of a tiny cantilever probe, the probe deflects and the BioChip electronically measures and reports that deflection. The BioChip presents the following advantages over current detection methods:

· It can continuously monitor bio-affinity interactions. It is label free.
· It is highly sensitive – able to detect 5 nm of cantilever deflection.
· It can be easily integrated into an array of biochip sensors.
· It enables portable, hand-held detection, relying upon electrical rather than optical detection.
· It is compact and cost-effective.
· It provides a high signal-to-noise ratio.
· It is compatible with complete CMOS integration.

Current bio-detection methods that rely upon labeling techniques can be time consuming and require large, expensive instrumentation. Current bio-detection methods that rely upon cantilever probes utilize either (a) optical detection of cantilever motion, or (b) electrical detection of stress-induced resistance changes. An optical system to measure cantilever deflection requires large arrays with thousands or tens of thousands of cantilevers. Current optical-based techniques also require a relatively large amount of power, can be expensive, and are less applicable to miniaturization. On the other hand, current electrical-based techniques suffer from high noise levels and thermal drift.

The BioChip is an integrated MOSFET transistor combined with a bipolar transistor – a so-called “BiMOS” transistor – that sits under a micro-cantilever. A chemical reaction on the cantilever results in stress-induced change on the drain current of the BiMOS. Details of the BioChip and experimental results are reported in Science v 311, n 5767, p 1592-1595 (Mar 17, 2006).

As an added feature, the BioChip integrates an electric piezo-actuator with piezo-BiMOS resistor on the cantilever chip. So in addition to bio-detection, the BioChip invention also has application in scanning probe microscope (SPM) imaging.

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT: In Science v 311, n 5767, p 1592-1595 (Mar 17, 2006), the inventors report experimental results for detection of Streptavidin-Biotin and Rabbit IgG-Goat antibody binding. Also, the Science publication reports cantilever sensitivity for a few additional probe-target systems (summarized from literature references at select target concentration levels). BioChip’s reported sensitivity of 5 nm deflection falls well within deflections reported for these additional probe-target systems.

In more current research, the inventors are investigating newer designs of the BioChip to detect cantilever deflections in the sub-nanometer range. Furthermore, arrays of cantilevers have been designed.

Northwestern University seeks a partner to commercialize this invention. Patent Issued 7,157,897

Inventor(s): Vinayak Dravid and Gajendra Shekhawat

Type of Offer: Licensing

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