Biochip Technology Has a Great Future

September 15, 2004

Developers of Electrical Biochip Technology Nominated for German Technology and Innovation Award - Fraunhofer ISIT, Siemens and Infineon Plan Further Collaboration on Biochip Technology

"We are pleased to have been nominated for this award and are proud and grateful that our development on electrical biochip technology has received such recognition," said Dr. Rainer Hintsche of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology and spokesperson for the "Lab-on-a-Chip - electrical biochip technology" project, which today was nominated for the "Deutscher Zukunftspreis", Germany's prestigious Future Award for Innovation and Technology instigated by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

While a great honor for Dr. Hintsche and his partners Dr. Roland Thewes from Infineon Technologies and Dr. Walter Gumbrecht from Siemens, the nomination is no reason for them to rest on their laurels from now on. On the contrary, the three partners from research and major industry aim to pursue their successful collaboration on electronic biochip technology. Following the joint development of the world’s first fully electronic DNA biochip, which enables, for example, various carcinogenic viruses to be detected, the three partners plan to continue their scientific exchange in joint projects. The cooperation venture has been running successfully for many years and was initiated by the “SIBANAT” project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).

The jointly developed basic technology of the electronic biochips, including the associated microfluidic components on the chip, opens the way to a host of potential applications. This will enable all three partners to implement their own particular solutions in line with their different corporate strategies. The planned future collaboration is aimed at broadening the basic technology in terms of the different areas of application.

Siemens, for example, wants to implement an entire “laboratory on a chip” in a smart card similar to conventional check cards. The aim is to manufacture the solution, called the “quicklab® system”, at low cost as a general-purpose, mass-market analytical product on the basis of already existing production technologies for smart cards. The development is intended to be used in doctors’ surgeries, at the point of care and in clinical laboratories, with the smart card being inserted into a laptop-sized terminal which controls the analysis process fully automatically and provides a readout of the results.

Infineon is working on incorporating the electronic DNA biochips in very powerful desktop devices for diagnostics applications. This will enable complex DNA analyses to be carried out in medical practices, hospitals and other medical institutions faster and more cost-effectively than in the past.

Working together with the company eBiochip Systems GmbH, a spin-off from the institute founded specifically for this purpose, the Fraunhofer ISIT is expanding this platform for biochemical measurement technology with low-density electrical biochips and low-cost portable devices for specialized measurements. Typical applications for these devices will include monitoring of foodstuffs for harmful substances or identification of pathogens in the human environment.

Explore further: New technology could speed up life-saving drug discoveries

Related Stories

Automating laboratory-on-a-chip to cut healthcare costs

June 16, 2014

A research team at the University of California, Riverside has created a computer programming language that will automate "laboratory-on-a-chip" technologies used in DNA sequencing, drug discovery, virus detection and other ...

Biochip measures glucose in saliva, not blood

January 23, 2012

For the 26 million Americans with diabetes, drawing blood is the most prevalent way to check glucose levels. It is invasive and at least minimally painful. Researchers at Brown University are working on a new sensor that ...

Recommended for you

A better way to read the genome

October 9, 2015

UConn researchers have sequenced the RNA of the most complicated gene known in nature, using a hand-held sequencer no bigger than a cell phone.

Threat posed by 'pollen thief' bees uncovered

October 9, 2015

A new University of Stirling study has uncovered the secrets of 'pollen thief' bees - which take pollen from flowers but fail to act as effective pollinators - and the threat they pose to certain plant species.

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.