Molecular Electronics Biosensor Chips For Infectious Diseases Detection

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  • Roswell Biotechnologies’ and imec’s collaborative work also aims at creating precise medicine and DNA storage
  • It will be commercially available in wide scale in the future

Roswell Biotechnologies, a pioneer in molecular electronics sensor chips and imec, a provider of nanoelectronics and digital technologies solutions have partnered to develop the commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips power the Roswell Biotechnologies’ new platform for DNA sequencing for supporting precision medicine, molecular diagnostics, rapid infectious disease testing and DNA storage.

Rapid detection and treatment of diseases

The platform includes a spectrum of tests necessary for the detection and containment of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, including sequencing, nucleic acid detection antigen detection and antibody detection. The platform also provides a solution for rapid, low-cost whole genome sequencing in precision medicine, for treating cancer and other diseases, as well as for reading massive amounts of digital data stored in DNA.

“The urgent need for a new generation of rapid, low-cost, consumer surveillance and diagnostics tools has been made extremely clear in the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Paul Mola, president and CEO, Roswell Biotechnologies. “In that area, the Roswell molecular electronic platform will transform the way infectious diseases are detected, with powerful new capabilities that enable rapid screening of many infectious diseases at once, or many viral strains, with portable or handheld devices.”

About molecular electronics

Molecular electronic sensor chips integrate single molecules as electronic sensor elements on standard semiconductor chips, making electronic biosensor devices massively scalable. The Roswell molecular electronics sensor represents an entirely new class of sensors, specifically designed to be maximally compatible with modern CMOS chip technology for delivering increased performance at low-costs. This allows high-speed biomedical tests, including DNA sequencing and other forms of biomarkers sensing essential to modern medical diagnostics for deployment on simple portable or handheld devices.

“One of the significant hurdles to commercialising molecular electronics is the need for costly customised solutions for large scale manufacturing. Imec has overcome those challenges by utilising state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing technology coupled with its deep experience in biosensor technology to commercialise molecular electronics using standard tools. We are excited to be partnering with imec on this effort,” said Dr Barry Merriman, chief science officer at Roswell Biotechnologies.

“We are excited to collaborate with Roswell on the integration of their molecular electronics sensor and developing the fastest route to achieving large scale commercial manufacturing of their sensor chips. It is especially motivating to use our skills to make a direct impact in important areas of medicine, such as genome sequencing and infectious disease monitoring, as well as to open new sectors such as DNA storage of Exabyte scale DNA,” said Dr Simon Severi, program director for life science technologies at imec.

As of today, Roswell and imec have completed key proof-of-concept work and are now focused on final process development. The initial products are expected to be commercially available in 2021.


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