A CMOS Lab-On-A-Chip For Neuron Monitoring And Stimulation

Y.H. Ghallab, Y. Ismail
Center of Nano Electronics and Devices (CND) at American University in Cairo/ Zewail City of Science and Technology, Cairo, Egypt, EG

Keywords: lab-on-a-chip, biological cells, neurons, CMOS technology, integrated sensors


Many tools have been established to monitor neural activity such as patch pipettes and microelectrodes, which are electrolyte filled glass tubes used to create intracellular contacts by rupturing the cell membrane and directly measuring the intracellular potential. Through the elaborateness of the procedure the number of contacts is limited and leakage reduces the cell’s lifetime. Recently, noninvasive techniques to record extra cellular potentials have appeared. In these techniques the sensors integrated within a planar substrate are used to record the action potential of the fired neurons. These approaches have to deal with the challenge of strong signal attenuation. To overcome the signal attenuation challenge, a novel Lab-on-a-chip is proposed. It uses a novel electric field sensor which is based on standard CMOS technology, named Differential Electric-Field-Sensitive-Field Effect Transistor (DeFET) sensor. DeFET based lab-on-a-chip was used to stimulate, record and monitor the neuronal activity of the neuron situated above it. The lab-on-a-chip shows high sensitivity and low noise.