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The Body Electric

New sensing platform holds promise for real-time interface with living tissue

Researchers have developed a cellular sensing platform that promises to expand the use of semiconductor technology in next-generation bioscience and biotechnology applications. Connected to cells or groups of cells, the sensor can monitor multiple physiological parameters to provide real-time characterization of a cell or tissue sample.

Based on a low-cost CMOS process, the technology could be used in the development of health care applications, including cost-effective pharmaceutical design, point-of-care devices, home-based medical diagnostics, and drug-screening systems. The research could also benefit defense-related sensing and environmental monitoring, providing low-cost, field-deployable sensors for hazard detection.

“Our research is intended to fundamentally revolutionize how biologists and bioengineers can interface with living cells and tissues and obtain useful information,” said Hua Wang, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. “Fully understanding the physiological behaviors of living cells or tissues is a prerequisite to further advance the frontiers of bioscience and biotechnology.”

The research is part of the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SSB) program sponsored by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC).—SEMICONDUCTOR RESEARCH CORPORATION

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