CMOS Integrated Biosensors: Fact or Fiction?

December 4, 2009

Arjang Hassibi
University of Texas at Austin


Biotechnology industry has greatly matured over the past decade, a credit to both recent scientific discoveries as well as an emergence of enabling technologies. The recent advances are largely due to the progress of detection platforms, especially molecular detection and biosensor systems. However, current performance of molecular detection systems (SNR, dynamic range, response time, and etc.) is far from the ideal and therefore, as of today, the accuracy of biosensors systems does not satisfy the stringent requirements of many high-performance biotechnology applications such as molecular diagnostics and forensics. In addition, biosensor systems have not successfully made the transition to portable and compact point-of-care devices because their detection platforms still consist of fluidic systems and bulky detectors.

In this talk, we will discuss integrated biosensor systems, i.e., molecular detection systems which include the biochemical assay, transducers, and interface circuitry. These systems, if fully developed, can become an enabling and mass-deployable platform in many research and industrial applications ranging from medical diagnostics to environmental testing. In particular, we will examine the usage of CMOS VLSI fabrication processes as the 'backbone' for integrated biosensors and show that CMOS can not only enable smaller and more cost efficient systems, but also can improve the overall detection performance.


Arjang Hassibi Arjang Hassibi received the B.S. degree with honors from the University of Tehran, Iran in 1997 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 2001 and 2005, respectively, all in electrical engineering. From March 2005 to August 2006, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Since August 2006 he has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology of the University of Texas at Austin where he is currently an Assistant Professor.

He has also held research positions in Barcelona Design, Stanford Genome Technology Center, Panorama Biosciences Research Institute, and Xagros Genomics which he co-founded in 2001. His areas of interest are biosensors and bioelectronics, integrated sensors, and noise spectroscopy.