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While technological innovations have enabled the analysis of genetic material in miniaturized test formats, the more delicate nature of protein structures has hindered the development of such devices for proteins. Only recently, protein biochips have emerged and now a broad range of technologies and investigation techniques is required to meet the needs of the field and to address the bulk of biological problems.
The project intends to implement a non contact analysis approach (Photonic Contact Detection), based on the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and tagged proteins. This will be achieved by integrating different technologies (in photonics, microfluidics, microelectronics, nanotechnology and surface chemistry) in a 3D-stacked structure, instead of the classical planar (2D) approach.
The device will be schematically realized by a microfluidic and a functionalized surface able to conduct the specimen into the proper reaction sites and to immobilize the proteins for the analysis:
- protein screening will be done with a channeled laser light which stimulates emission of fluorescence markers or resonant modes in microresonators: then, integrated filters and sensors will analyze and detect the optical signal; integrated processing circuitry will characterize it in terms of intensity and duration
- protein conformation measurement will be enabled by a narrowband tunable THz source illuminating the samples; broadband sensors, in conjunction with synchronized readout electronics, will detect the transmission spectra.
- Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy) Project Coordinator
- Universita degli Studi di Trento (Italy)
- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Department of Material and Devices (Italy)
- Civen Association (Italy)
The main role of SOI is the development of dedicated single-photon detectors with gating capabilities and readout circuits for THz sensors.