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CHIC (Chip-in-Cell) – Autonomous bio-sensor 

In-situ detection of chemical changes in human body at the cellular level can bring enormous benefits in diagnosis and in therapeutic monitoring.  We are developing techniques to place micron-sized sensor chip inside each cell. It might revolutionize biochemical imaging by introducing the concept of replacing “passive” radiotracers with “active” IC chips.  This may open up an array of new biomedical applications that range from novel medical diagnostic and therapeutic tools that operate at single cell level to a novel class of autonomously operating intrabody nanobiosensors. These wireless bio-sensors can be used for autonomous, continuous-time, in vivo monitoring. Nanofabrication and integrated electronics are the key enabling technologies of this research.

We have demonstrated a passive RFID based platform for labeling cells as a stepping stone towards chronic intracellular monitoring. We have fabricated and delivered patterned, multi-layer structured μTags into living cells while preserving cell viability and showed biocompatibility of internalized tags persistent in living cells over the course of 5 days. Longer term, this platform will open up new avenues for basic biomedical research and lead to breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Chip in cell
Chip-in-cell crosssection