From Sand to Silicon: The Making of a Microchip | Intel
Researchers have created a microscopic chip that can be used to detect viral infections, blood tests, and diagnose diseases. The biosensor is developed on a meringue of a conventional silicon microcircuit, similar to those used in our PCs and smartphones..
Scientists at Princeton University have found that tiny metal layers that are already embedded in modern microcircuits can be easily adapted to analyze unusual light interacting with tiny objects less than its wavelength. This enables the detection of thousands of biological substances, ranging from bacterial DNA to hormones, without the need for bulky lenses and filters..
The invented sensor chip, like a traditional laboratory setup, detects target molecules using chemical antibodies that react with specific molecules. However, the antibodies used are modified in such a way that, upon contact with the target, they generate red light with a certain wavelength. After the reaction, this radiation hits the metal plates of the device, where it is analyzed using a billion transistors..
Despite the fact that the microscopic biosensor is a square with sides of 4 mm, the team placed a plate with 96 antibody sensors on it. but scientists There is still a lot of work to be done as they hope to significantly improve the biosensor and design chips small enough to fit into tablets and carry out body diagnostics using a smartphone app.
According to the researchers, the device is developed on the basis of a traditional silicon chip and does not require specific conditions when created, which makes it easy to organize its serial production. Going forward, they plan to design tiny fluorescent probing sensors that can be used to analyze food, water, the environment and industrial applications..
Recall that scientists have developed a laser-driven micropump that is capable of moving liquids in any direction without moving parts or electrical contacts..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Lingyu Hong