Method and Device for Biochemical Sensing

Description Medical diagnostics using chemical sensing of antibody, antigens, DNA fragments and other biochemicals are addressed using semiconductor sensors and supportive biochemical processes. This successful marriage of semiconductor sensors and biochemistry address a diversity of potential biochemical diagnostics and measurements including detection and quantification of human, animal and plant diseases. Target biochemical molecules attach specifically to one or more preselected, sensor-attached biochemical receptors resulting in a concentration- related, large output electronic output signal (current or voltage). This innovation overcomes low sensitivity and drift problems associated with earlier semiconductor biochemical sensing. Prototype devices have been developed and successfully tested. Experiments have shown high sensitivity and high specificity biochemical detection with very large electronic outputs measured. Multiple target detection and senor arrays with enhanced signal amplification and automation are enabled in this silicon IC technology.

The basic operating principle of the biochemical sensor is to detect target molecules of a specific chemical compound by placing a liquid substrate (containing the target molecules) in contact with receptor-coated semiconductor sensor devices. Biochemical detection uses specific device architectures and processes. Typical large voltage or current output signals, proportional to the receptor-bound specific biochemical molecule density and its electric charges, are measured. Add-on amplifier devices can further enhance the already high detection sensitivity. Sensor devices may be prepared to simultaneously detect multiple specific biochemical species. Sensor device arrays may be constructed to provide multiple detection means in a single low cost, multi-diagnostic IC chip. Experimental results are available to support of the invention.

Applications Applications include general biochemical sensing, general medical diagnostics, human, animal and plant disease diagnostics, quantitative molecular concentration measurement, biochemical identification and characterization, PH measurement, electrophoresis, pollution measurement, chemical specificity-confirmation systems, simultaneous multiple biochemical target detection, automated systems, biochemical co-factor and biochemical confirmation processes and automated diagnostic systems.

Targeted species examples may include antibodies, DNA fragments, RNA, hormones, co-factors, toxins, bacteria, viruses, bioactive chemicals such as drugs, and other biomolecules that carry electrical charge.

Main Advantages Figure 1 shows a typical detection sequence with a controlled set of biochemical species while using the processes described in the patent. The detection tests for IgG, Anti-IgG and then IgG again, confirming and illustrating experimental electronic sensor detection, specificity features and signal strength features. (Non-specific antibody results are reported in the patent and illustrate suppressed non-specific reactions.)

The advantages of the biochemical sensor include:

High biochemical detection sensitivity Elimination of external reference electrodes and signal drift Suppression of ionic shielding degradation effects Si-based Sensor (and receptor) arrays for multiple diagnostics applications Multiple target capability Specificity confirmation procedures compatibility Electronic output Automation compatibility Applications diversity Low cost (potential)

Type of Offer: Licensing

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