CMOS Bioelectronics: From Single-Molecule Biophysics to Neuroscience

18th November 2020

Timing : 1 pm EST

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For a list of all talks at the NanoBio seminar Series 2020, see here

A new class of bioelectronics devices is emerging in which the integrated circuit, based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology, is in direct contact with the biological system to which it is interfacing. There are several advantages to this approach. First, this achieves the very smallest form factors possible by enabling systems in which the entire device is contained on the chip. Second, it enables large arrays of transducers since interfacing electronics can be directly connected to these devices without requiring wire escapes. Lastly, this ensures the highest fidelity signal transduction by reducing capacitive and inductive parasitics and reducing the possibility for electromagnetic interference. There are three primary ways in which living systems can interact with CMOS bioelectronics – electrically, through the detection of charge, electric potential, or the reduction-oxidation (redox) properties of molecules; acoustically, usually at ultrasound frequencies; or optically, usually through the introduction of optical reporters or transducers in the biological system. In most cases, these interfaces require the addition of new materials or device structures to the far-back-end of the CMOS process. We consider examples of CMOS bioelectronics based on each of these transduction methods. We focus on two applications: single-molecule diagnostics and neural interfaces. We review several CMOS-based technologies that can perform electronic measurements of single molecules in solution, including ion channels, nanopore sensors, and carbon nanotube field-effect transistors,. We discuss the shared features among these techniques that enable them to resolve individual molecules, and discuss their limitations. The advantages that these systems are bringing and can bring to molecular diagnostic applications in the era of pandemic infectious diseases will be discussed. In the area of neural interfaces, we discuss implantable CMOS recording and stimulation systems in both the central and peripheral nervous systems based on electrical, optical, and acoustic transduction. Key features necessary to the most volume-efficient biomedical implants that fully exploit CMOS technology will be discussed.