Overview of Roland Thewes' Short Course:
Electronic and Si-based bio sensors for bio-molecule detection, cell manipulation, and neural tissue interfacing have attracted much attention during recent years. In particular, CMOS-based solutions promise to be small, cheap, and smart, moreover they open the way to high parallelism and signal (pre-) processing close to the transducer site where these signals are generated. A number of in-vitro applications - in life sciences, biotechnology, medical diagnosis, ... - utilizing biosensor arrays are expected to exploit these properties, and a couple of approaches already have been successfully commercialized or are on the way.
Successful development of such platforms requires to match and to understand the interdependencies of sensor principle, manufacturing processes, material sciences, CMOS extension, sensor interface circuitry, assembly techniqies, fluidic interfaces, ... . The objective of this course is to make the participants familiar with electronic bio-molecule (such as DNA and proteins) and nerve-cell related sensing and interfacing techniques.
For this purpose, some basics concerning biology and biological processes are briefly reviewed from an engineering standpoint. On this basis, the entire operation flow (e.g. from functionalization to readout) is discussed. Different transducer techniques are highlighted which are used to transfer the information from the biological into the electronic domain. Related CMOS processing extensions are considered in detail. Moreover, electrical specifications and related circuit requirements are derived. A number of circuit design approaches for the considered cases are presented, too, to merge the beforehand made specifications with practical design aspects. A number of examples presented in the literature are highlighted to demonstrate the status of state-of-the-art approaches applied in that field. Finally, system and assembly aspects are briefly considered.