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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(5):4943-71. doi: 10.3390/s110504943. Epub 2011 May 4.

Commercialisation of CMOS integrated circuit technology in multi-electrode arrays for neuroscience and cell-based biosensors.

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Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK.


The adaptation of standard integrated circuit (IC) technology as a transducer in cell-based biosensors in drug discovery pharmacology, neural interface systems and electrophysiology requires electrodes that are electrochemically stable, biocompatible and affordable. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) IC technology does not meet the first of these requirements. For devices intended only for research, modification of CMOS by post-processing using cleanroom facilities has been achieved. However, to enable adoption of CMOS as a basis for commercial biosensors, the economies of scale of CMOS fabrication must be maintained by using only low-cost post-processing techniques. This review highlights the methodologies employed in cell-based biosensor design where CMOS-based integrated circuits (ICs) form an integral part of the transducer system. Particular emphasis will be placed on the application of multi-electrode arrays for in vitro neuroscience applications. Identifying suitable IC packaging methods presents further significant challenges when considering specific applications. The various challenges and difficulties are reviewed and some potential solutions are presented.


CMOS; IC; biocompatibility; biosensor

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