Paul van Gerven
6 May 2020

Imec and Roswell Biotechnologies are partnering up to develop the world’s first commercial molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips will power a range of medical devices, including tools for rapid infectious disease testing. Unfortunately, for managing the current corona outbreak, they’ll be a bit late to the party, as the first products are expected to be available in 2021.

Molecular-electronic sensor chips integrate single molecules as electrical sensor elements on standard semiconductor chips, making electronic biosensor devices massively scalable. It has proven difficult, however, to combine molecular sensors with CMOS, the standard semiconductor technology, and associated fabrication processes. This is where Imec could help out the San Diego-based molecular electronics company Roswell. “Imec has overcome the challenges by utilizing state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing technology coupled with its deep experience in biosensor technology to commercialize molecular electronics using standard tools,” says Roswell’s chief science officer Barry Merriman.

Roswell Imec
Credit: Roswell Biotechnologies

Imec and Roswell have successfully completed key proof-of-concept work and are now focused on final process development. Apart from infectious disease testing, the molecular sensor chips can also be used for DNA sequencing, precision medicine support and molecular diagnostics.