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Posted: March 24, 2010
Evolved Machines Announces The First Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistor Sensor Chip
(Nanowerk News) Evolved Machines, Inc. today announces completion of the first carbon nanotube field effect transistor (nanotube-FET) integrated sensor chip. Consisting of 1,536 nanotube-FET sensors along with a digital backplane for individually addressable gating and readout, the sensor chip is the first integrating high temperature carbon nanotube growth with a conventional logic backplane. Development of this milestone in the use of nanotube transistors was funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the auspices of its RealNose program.
When functionalized with single-strand DNA (ssDNA), Evolved Machinesí affiliate Nanosense has demonstrated that this new class of sensors exhibits sequence-specific, rapid, and highly reversible responses to volatile odorants. These properties enable a new generation of both hand-held and robotically mounted sensors, allowing the repeated re-sampling required to identify target odorants in the presence of complex background environments. The DNA sequence-dependence of analyte binding confers enormous dimensionality, allowing chemical detection of diverse odorants with a single chip. Applications for sensor devices based on this technology range from the detection of explosives and contraband, to the monitoring of industrial environments for toxic industrial chemicals, to breath-based diagnosis of lung cancer and other disease emitting a volatile signature.
In addition, recent results have demonstrated that the nanotube-FET sensor can also be functionalized with membrane proteins embedded in nanoscale membrane discs (Nanodiscs). Ligand- and receptor-specific binding is then read out as a concentration-specific perturbation of transistor current. Here the array of nanotube FETís can be functionalized with a panel of membrane proteins, with their binding to candidate molecules read out rapidly and electronically. This class of sensor chips comprise a new platform for the screening of compounds against panels of membrane receptors, with potentially broad and powerful applications across biotechnology, including but not limited to drug development.
About Evolved Machines, Inc.
Evolved Machines, Inc., based in Palo Alto, CA, develops technology for sensory systems based on highly neural sensory signal processing, reverse-engineering circuitry in the brain to enable a new class of self-wiring devices that perform in the complexities of real-world environments, for both artificial olfaction and visual object recognition.
About Nanosense, Inc.
Nanosense Inc. based in Redwood City, CA, develops carbon nanotube FET sensor technologies for use in monitoring and detection of explosives, chemical and biological threats, as well as in the diagnosis of human metabolites from the breath and skin commonly associated with diseases ranging from cancer and other disease.