Technology modules from micro- and nano-electronics for the life sciences

Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2016 May;8(3):355-77. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1367. Epub 2015 Sep 22.


The capabilities of modern semiconductor manufacturing offer remarkable possibilities to be applied in life science research as well as for its commercialization. In this review, the technology modules available in micro- and nano-electronics are exemplarily presented for the case of 250 and 130 nm technology nodes. Preparation procedures and the different transistor types as available in complementary metal-oxide-silicon devices (CMOS) and BipolarCMOS (BiCMOS) technologies are introduced as key elements of comprehensive chip architectures. Techniques for circuit design and the elements of completely integrated bioelectronics systems are outlined. The possibility for life scientists to make use of these technology modules for their research and development projects via so-called multi-project wafer services is emphasized. Various examples from diverse fields such as (1) immobilization of biomolecules and cells on semiconductor surfaces, (2) biosensors operating by different principles such as affinity viscosimetry, impedance spectroscopy, and dielectrophoresis, (3) complete systems for human body implants and monitors for bioreactors, and (4) the combination of microelectronics with microfluidics either by chip-in-polymer integration as well as Si-based microfluidics are demonstrated from joint developments with partners from biotechnology and medicine. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2016, 8:355-377. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1367 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology* / instrumentation
  • Biotechnology* / methods
  • Electronics, Medical* / instrumentation
  • Electronics, Medical* / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Nanotechnology* / instrumentation
  • Nanotechnology* / methods
  • Semiconductors