Sensitive electronic devices fabricated using CMOS technology can provide direct, real–time monitoring of biological processes. In addition, local electric fields generated by these devices can influence biological processes and interactions.
Top view of a multi-electrode array (MEA) showing 64 electrode sites and the insulated leads
The most basic devices are microelectrode arrays that contain multiple electrodes through which electrical signals are obtained or delivered, essentially serving as neural interfaces that connect electrogenic cells (e.g. neurons or cardiac myocytes) to electronic circuitry.
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Field Effect Transistors
Field-effect transistors (FETs) are powerful building blocks for bioelectronic interfaces with cells and tissue due to their sensitivity. In the easiest configuration an excitable cell (e.g. neuron) is cultured directly on top of the exposed gate dielectric, so that the neurons themselves and the solution in which they are cultured serve as the gate of the transistor. An alternative approach is the use of a floating gate (FG) electrode which allows isolation and protection of the thin gate oxide from the ionic solution and uniform modulation of the transistor channel.
Nanowire field-effect transistor
Semiconductor nanowire-FET (NW-FET) can be used as a unique, powerful biological sensing platform. They can form strongly coupled interfaces with cell membranes. In addition NWFETs are expected to be more sensitive sensors than their planar counterparts.
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High Density CMOS Chip
High density CMOS chips for the bidirectional coupling with electrogenic cells have been developed. The CMOS chips consist of a 64 x 64 pixel array with on-chip and in-pixel amplifier and output buffer circuits.
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