Integrated CMOS On-Chip Fluorescence Bio-Sensor and Microscopy System

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Integrated CMOS-based Single–chip Fluorescence Bio‐Sensor System

Docket # 14-2990

Integrated, low‐cost and portable point‐of‐care diagnostic technology has the potential to bring transformative changes in healthcare by enabling early detection of diseases in a remote field setting, allowing timely and rapid treatment to the patient and facilitating a potential shift from curative medicine, to predictive, personalized, and preemptive medicine. Affinity‐based bio‐sensor technology based on selective interaction of different analytes for detection of proteins, DNA, toxins, bacteria, etc. is one of the most important analytical tools in biotechnology, among which fluorescence-based methods remains the most sensitive, specific and robust biosensing methodology. However, current technology, which mostly relies on fluorescent molecular tags, requires complex, bulky and very expensive optical components, including multi‐wavelength fluorescent microscopes and  spectrofluorometers, which are limited in their use beyond laboratory settings. On the other hand, Integrated Circuits technology, especially Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology provides an unparalleled platform for integration of complex systems, with high yield in an extremely cost‐efficient manner.


By leveraging the integration capability of CMOS technology, high precision analog and mixed‐signal circuits, and marrying integrated circuits with techniques from nanophotonics and electromagnetics, researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University aim to develop fully integrated, battery‐operated, high density arrays of single-chip fluorescence‐based biosensors capable of rapid, low‐cost screening and infield medical diagnostics, epidemic disease control, and biohazard detection. Combined with fully integrated electronics, such CMOS chips can function as fluorescence bio‐sensing systems for both antigen and nucleic acid detection with attomole sensitivity, while being disposable (extremely low‐cost), robust and compact. This can lead to the monitoring and diagnosing of one’s personal health and allow connectivity to personal electronic devices to rapidly obtain diagnostic information and communicate with healthcare institutions.


·         Point-of-care diagnostics in remote field settings

·         Immunoassays/DNA microarrays: Sensor, scanner, bio surface all rolled into one single chip

·         Based on selective interaction of different analytes for detection of

o   Proteins

o   DNA

o   Toxins


·         DNA sequencing/genotyping


·         Single chip solution: Low-cost, fully integrated, portable, robust, battery operated  multiplexed arrays

·         No complex microfluidics requirement.

·         Integrable with existing assay protocols.

·         Disposable cartridge format : Same chip architecture for different assays: Chip surface capable of functionalization for both antigen and nucleic acid detection.

·         Very small liquid volume required : Attomole sensitivity


Kaushik Sengupta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University.  He received the B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees in electronics and electrical communication engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), both in 2007, and the MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2008 and 2012, respectively. In February 2013, he joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. His research interests are in the areas of integrated electronic and photonic circuits and systems, electromagnetics, optics for various applications in sensing, imaging and high-speed communication.


Dr. Sengupta received the Charles Wilts prize for the best thesis in Electrical Engineering at Caltech in 2012-13. He was the recipient of the IBM PhD fellowship (2011-12), the IEEE Solid State Circuits Society Predoctoral Achievement Award, the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Graduate Fellowship, and the Analog Devices Outstanding Student Designer Award (2011). He was also the recipient of the Prime Minister Gold Medal Award of IIT (2007), the Caltech Institute Fellowship, the Most Innovative Student Project Award of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (2007), and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Undergraduate Fellowship (2006). He was the co-recipient of IEEE RFIC Symposium Best Student Paper Award in 2012.


Lingyu Hong is a 2nd year PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. He received his BS in Physics from Peking University in 2012 where he did research in nanophotonics and plamsonics and was the recipient of a Peking University Academic Excellence Reward and other scholarships. He joined Professor Sengupta's Lab in May 2013 and is interested in the study, research, and implementation of interdisciplinary knowledge in photonics and electronics for lab-on-chip systems, specifically for biomedical applications.

Intellectual Property Status

Patent protection is pending.

Princeton is seeking industrial collaborators for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.  


Chris Wright

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-6762•

Laurie Bagley

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-5579•


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Chris Wright
Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Lingyu Hong
Kaushik Sengupta
medical device