Enabling Technologies for Cell-Silicon Interfacing

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This project focuses on the challenges faced by traditional detection and diagnostic technologies including shelf-life, signal amplification and sensitivity, continuous monitoring and device lifetime, detection range, and matrix compatibility. Further, it provides the enabling technology to expand functionality in computation and biochemical response for mixed-mode sensing devices.

Current participants:

  • Chelsea Hu (Postdoc, BE)

Additional participants:

  • Samuel Clamons (PhD student, BE)


  • Azita Emami (Caltech EE)

Past participants:

  • Elin Larsson (PhD student, BE)
  • John McManus (Alumni, BBE/ARL)



The general objective is to develop the fundamental technologies required for cell-CMOS interfacing by demonstrating a proof-of-concept, mixed-mode sensing device that can sense and transduce signals from a complex matrix. Specific objectives:

  1. Engineer and validate an arsenic-sensing circuit into Bacillus megaterium.
  2. Fabricate the microfluidics necessary for the retention of biological sensors to the IC
  3. Develop the CMOSIC technology, integrate it with the biological sensors and demonstrate the proof-of-concept for a mixed-mode sensing device
  4. Expand the capability of CMOSIC and cell-based circuits to enable communication from silicon to the cell, enabling programmability of cell-based circuits from ICs.


None to date

This research is supported by the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies through contract W911NF-19-D-0001 from the U.S. Army Research Office. The content of the information on this page does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

  • Agency: Army Research Office
  • Grant number: W911NF-19-D-0001
  • Start date: 14 Feb2019
  • End date: 13 Feb 2021
  • Support:
  • Reporting: Annual reports