"Ultra-low power Biopotential Interfaces and their application in wearable and implantable systems"
Chris Van Hoof, Refet Firat Yazicioglu, Tom Torfs, Patrick Merken (Imec, Leuven, Belgium)
With the advent of ultra-low power sensor interfaces, long-term ambulatory monitoring using wearable devices and more energy-autonomous implants are becoming a reality. This paper wil present suitable architectures and circuits, and will present several application case examples.
Speaker: Luciano Musa (Physics Department CERN Geneva, CH)
"Highly Integrated System-On-Chip Circuits for the Readout of High-Energy Physics Detectors"
The very high particle rates and multiplicities that will be produced by the ultra-relativistic hadron collider at LHC, CERN, have set new demands on the readout electronics in terms of resolution, density, speed, complexity and power consumption. These requirements, which are beyond the present capability of commercial-off-the-shelf components, could only be met by highly integrated systems implemented with very deep submicron CMOS technologies. These technologies not only offer speed, density, and computational power, but also radiation tolerance. The potential upgrade of the LHC and other newly planned facilities, e.g. the International Linear Collider (ILC), set even more demanding requirements, which call for ASICs that embed in a single chip the circuits to amplify, digitize, process, compress and store the information of a high number of channels. This paper reviews some examples of highly integrated single-chip circuits developed for the LHC Experiments, and will discuss the role that future silicon processes may play on the on-detector readout and signal processing electronics for future experiments.
"Sensor networks for industrial applications"
A. Flammini, P. Ferrari, D. Marioli, E. Sisinni, A. Taroni
Industrial applications are moving from centralized architectures towards distributed ones, that exhibit cost effectiveness, better flexibility, scalability, reliability and diagnostic functionalities. Connecting sensors with industrial communication protocols improves overall plant performance allowing sensor information to be used by several equipments and to be shared with internet facilities and web. A communications system suitable for computers and PLC, that exchanges a large amount of data with soft real-time constrains, can be hardly adapted to sensors. In fact, simple and low-cost sensors typically require a cyclic, isochronous and hard real-time exchange of few data. For this reason specific fieldbuses have been widely used to realize industrial sensor networks, while high-level industrial communication systems take advantage of Ethernet/Internet and, more recently, wireless technologies. In these years, Ethernet-based solutions that meet real time operation requirements (called Real-Time Ethernet) are replacing traditional fieldbuses; moreover research activities in real-time wireless sensor networking are growing. In this paper, after an overview of the state-of-art of real-time sensor networks, problems and possible solutions are presented, with particular reference to methods and instrumentation for performance measurement.
"Molecular Electronic Circuits"
This talk focuses on pathways to solving the challenges involved in adapting molecular switches so that they can be used in practical circuits. Addressing these issues result in detailed understanding of the interactions between molecular switch properties and application requirements, deep consideration of interconnect structures, and modeling of potential candidate structures. This talk is part tutorial and part research talk. The tutorial portion will discuss fundamental circuit issues, including CMOS scaling concerns, and competing approaches to nanoelectronics. The research talk will start with a treatment of the appropriateness of Spice as a circuit modeler before presenting our results in memory and logic applications.
"CMOS Chips for Bio Molecule Sensing Purposes"
In recent years, CMOS chips interacting with bio molecules - such as electronic DNA arrays - have attracted much attention. They are believed to provide a huge potential in the area of medical diagnosis, environment monitoring, and further applications in life sciences and biotechnology; first CMOS-based platforms are commercially available. Starting with a brief summary concerning biochemical basics, this talk will present an overview about electrochemical, magnetic, impedance-based, and gravimetric bio molecule detection techniques. In particular, the required extensions and related consequences for initial standard CMOS processes are discussed. Circuit design requirements will be highlighted as well related to the different detection principles, examples of successfully realized designs as published in the literature are shown, too. Finally, some aspects of system integration are considered.
"Application of three-dimensional optical acquisition to the documentation and the analysis of crime scenes"
G. Sansoni, M. Trebeschi, and F. Docchio
Walk-through and assessment of the crime scene is the first step in criminal investigation. One of the objectives is to collect all useful evidence for the reconstruction of the scene and of the dynamics of the event, following precise protocols and using measurement techniques. The description should be complete, objective, accurate, non invasive and digitally storable for subsequent reconstruction and analysis. Classical methods only partially fullfill these requirements, due both to the contact nature of the measurement, in case classical rulers are used, and to the reduction to a 2D level of an intrinsically three-dimensional scene, whenever photographs and videos are used to document the crime scene. The use of three-dimensional optical sensors for the acquisition of the crime scenes, especially when combined with the reverse-engineering of the surfaces, can be of aid toward the increase of efficiency of the documentation process. In principle, it can be possible (i) to perform the contactless meausrement of the scene, (ii) to adapt the measurement resolution to the dimension of the details of interest for aftewards investigations(i.e., the victim, the lesions, ect), (iii) to elaborate the row data sets to create the topological description of the scenarios, by means of suitable triangle meshes. In turn, the availability of the meshes opens the door to (i) the accurate measurement of distances, areas, volumes, (ii) the virtual interaction with the scene, (iii) the ‘freezing’ of the scene for legal purposes, and (iv) the examination of lesions as they were at the time of the retrival, avoiding the time dependent deterioration. In this paper we wanted to demonstrate the feasibility of using a laser-light scanner for the three-dimensional gauging of free-form shapes in the documentation of crime scenes and for legal medcine. Interesting, real cases will be presented, dealing with two omicides, and with the optical examination of corpses during the autopsy.
"Energy Scavenging for Wireless Sensor Nodes"
Most wireless sensor nodes are powered by primary or secondary (rechargeable) batteries. These take up a large proportion of the size and weight, and often the cost, of the nodes, and furthermore the need to replace or recharge them creates a significant maintenance burden. Maintenance free power provision would greatly increase the feasibility of networks with very large numbers of, or very widely distributed, nodes. Recently the scavenging of energy from the environment, in the form of heat, motion, light or other electromagnetic radiation, has been actively researched as a possible solution to this problem. In this paper we will review the progress and ultimate potential of such power sources, with an emphasis on motion and vibration scavenging. We will examine the power levels achievable, and consider applications in which such sources are attractive to substitute for or supplement batteries.
"Smart Sensors for Fast Biological Analysis."
Massimo Lanzoni, Bruno Riccò and Giampiero De cesare
A strong research effort in electronic devices able to perform fast and accurate biological analysis is motivated by industrial interests in clinical applications but also by antiterrorism programs. In recent years a variety of devices has been developed exploiting new silicon technologies such as micromachining and micro-fluidics allowing dramatic scaling of equipments (usually bulky and difficult to use) as well as reduction in the amount of reagents and material for the analysis. Small scale analysis systems allow reduction of the sample material volume, realization of portable (and eventually disposable) devices, and integration in a single device of complex analysis protocols. With these type of devices, the sample is normally pre-processed by means of the application of fluorescent markers and the detection is based on the light emitted by the marked sample. This analysis can be enhanced by the use of PCR techniques to increase the amount of DNA to be detected. This protocol can be implemented using advanced micromachining process and a complete analysis system can be realized on a single chip. The main disadvantages of this approach are: high cost of the read-out equipment and need of a previous chemical treatment of the sample. In this paper an overview will be given of the present state of the art in this field. Furthermore innovative sensors will be presented and their characteristic will be discussed. In particular new devices based on amorphous silicon diodes and special non-volatile memories will be presented and preliminary experimental results will be shown. The aim of these devices is to perform affective and fast and low-cost analysis of sampled containing DNA. As for the devices based on non-volatile memories, they offer the possibility to use quasi-standard CMOS process to realize a wide and dense array of sensors that can be combined with a multisite sample holder to obtain a cost-effective device able to perform many measurements in parallel. Similar advantages can be obtained using an array of photodiodes made of amorphous silicon. Common to both approaches is the ability to perform correct analysis without the need of previous treatment of the sample by means of markers. Furthermore, these new devices are suitable for the fabrication of disposable analysis systems.
"Chemical design, synthesis and thin film supramolecular architecture for advanced performance chemo- and bio-sensing organic field effect transistors"
G.M. Farinola, L. Torsi, F. Naso, P.G. Zambonin, L. Valli, M.C. Tanese, O. Hassan Omar, F. Babudri,
Organic thin film transistor (OTFT) sensors are capable of fast, sensitive and reliable detection of various classes of chemical and biological analytes with high selectivity, and display the additional advantage of being compatible with plastic electronic technologies. Their distinctive versatility is based on multilevel control of the properties, from molecular design up to device architecture. The lecture will focus on novel high performance OTFT sensors developed in our laboratories and will consider the key steps including organic semiconductor synthesis, supramolecular structure control and device development. Phenylene-thiophene molecular semiconductors functionalized with glucose, amino acid or nucleoside molecules have been synthesized to combine the recognition capability of bio-molecules with the electronic properties of the conjugated backbone. The supramolecular organization of sensing active layer represents a further tool for fine tailoring the sensor features. Langmuir-Shäfer (LS) deposition technique has been shown to allow a control of the molecular conformation beneficial to charge transport properties. A novel bilayer supramolecular architecture of the active thin film has been developed to optimize device performances and represents a versatile and general approach to flexible sensing platforms, easily tuneable for different analytes. The bilayer structure comprises a thin film of alkoxy-substituted phenylene-thiophene semiconductor deposited by LS technique in direct contact with the gate dielectric, covered by a layer of the same organic semiconductor functionalized with the chiral biological molecules. The resulting OTFT sensor was able to perform enantioselective recognition of chiral analytes, which is the most challenging form of chemical selectivity with important applications in fields such as pharmaceutics, synthetic chemistry and catalysis. The detection limit achieved with this device is in the ppm range, which is three order of magnitude lower than that of enantioselective solid state sensors previously reported in the literature.
"Detection of Specific Nucleotide Sequences using Electrostatic Interactions of DNA with Gold Nanoparticles"
Lewis Rothberg and Huixiang Li
Analysis of DNA is increasingly important in clinical and research medicine. We have utilized differential adsorption of single-stranded and double-stranded DNA on gold nanoparticles to construct simple assays for hybridization of unlabeled target DNA. A number of variations using this phenomenon can produce fast assays that can detect the presence of target DNA sequences colorimetrically or with much higher sensitivity using fluorescent detection. We show that our approach is useful with genomic DNA samples amplified by PCR and is straightforward to adapt to high throughput detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms. Other applications such as structure determination in folded RNA will also be discussed.
"Olfactory nanobiosensors based on sniffing yeasts"
The animal olfactory system represents the gold standard of biosensors with its capability to identify and discriminate thousands of odorant compounds, with very low thresholds. Using olfactory receptors (ORs) as sensing elements instead of chemical sensors, biosensors would benefit the naturally optimized and specific molecular recognition of odorants to develop a new generation of bioelectronic noses. The purpose of SPOT-NOSED European project was the development of nanobiosensors based on single ORs anchored between nanoelectrodes, to mimic the performances of natural olfactory sensing system. Integration of individual nanosensors into multisensors arrays could increase sensitivity or widen the detection spectrum. ORs were expressed by means of a new technique in yeasts plasmic membrane, and their functionality was tested in whole yeasts. Nanosomes bearing the ORs were prepared from S. cerevisiae, and Surface Plasmon Resonance was performed on these nanosomes for quantitative evaluation of OR response to odorant stimulation. ORs retain full activity and discrimination power in immobilized nanosomes, thus allowing their use in the fabrication of the nanobiosensors. Nanoelectrodes were fabricated using conventional photolithography and focused ion beam milling, with sizes in adequation with the nanosomes. ORs borne by nanosomes were specifically immobilized onto conducting substrates via a mixed Self Assembled Monolayer, neutravidin and specific antibody to the receptors. The process was optimized by means of microcontact printing, and the anchored nanovesicles visualized by Atomic Force Microscopy. A transimpedance preamplifier specially suited for low-noise wide-bandwidth measurements was designed and directly connected to the nanoelectrodes. Electrochemical Impedancemetric Spectroscopy detected significant changes upon functionalization of gold electrodes, grafting of ORs carried by nanosomes, and upon ORs conformational change induced by odorant ligand binding.
"Electronic system trends and challenges in present day particle experiments"
Present day particle physics experiments are large systems imposing stringent requirements on electronics in terms of timing, data reduction, radiation tolerance, and speed-power-noise performance. Many modern technologies were successfully adopted to meet all these requirements: custom integrated circuit design in commercial deep submicron CMOS technology, optical data transmission, field programmable gate arrays, etc… The paper will give a system overview through some examples. The emphasis will be on practical experience in the construction of the LHC experiments to try to point out some of the trends and challenges ahead.
"Requirements for Design, Qualification and Production of Integrated Sensor Interface Circuits for High Quality Automotive Applications"
M. J. Ohletz, F. Schulze
The product development of integrated sensor interface circuits for automotive applications requires the incorporation of various additional features accounting for the harsh environmental requirements in automotive applications. Unlike in a pure prototype development yield is key to achieve the required automotive quality targets of zero ppm. The paper describes the general automotive requirements like ESD and reverse polarity protection and the design flow from specification until Start of Production for an industrial product development along with the international standard AEC Q-100 qualification requirement and additional measures during production such as the Dynamic Part Average Testing and Statistical Bin Analysis to arrive at zero ppm in the field. The paper includes a real product example of ZMD.