Characterization and Optimization of Ion-Sensitive Field Effect Transistors for Rapid Personalized Diagnostics
The growth of the medical diagnostic industry in the past several decades has largely been due to the creation and iterative optimization of bio sensors. Recent pushes towards value added as well as preventative health care has made point of care devices more attractive to health care providers. Rapid detection for diseases and cancers is done with a bio sensor, which a broad term used to describe an instrument which uses a bio chemical reaction to detect a chemical compound with the use of a bio recognition event in addition to a signal detection event. The bio sensors which are presented in this work are known as ion-sensitive field effects transistors (ISFETs) and are similar in function to a metal oxide field effect transistor (MOSFET). These ISFETs can be used to sense pH or the concentration of protons on the surface of the gate channel. These ISFETs can be used for certain bio recognition events and this work presents the application of these transistors for the quantification of tumor cell proliferation. This includes the development of a signal processing and acquisition system for the long term assessment of cellular metabolism and optimizing the system for use in an incubator. This thesis presents work done towards the optimization and implementation of complementary metal\u2014oxide\u2014semiconductor (CMOS) ISFETs as well as remote gate ISFETs for the continuous assessment of tumor cell extracellular pH. The work addresses the challenges faced with the fabrication and optimization of these sensors, which includes the mitigation of current drift with the use of pulse width modulation in addition to issues encountered with fabrication of electrodes on a quartz substrate. This work culminates in the testing of an autonomous system with mammary tumor cells as well as the assessment of cell viability in an incubator over extended periods. Future applications of this work include the creation of a remote gate ISFET array for multiplexed detection as well as the implementation of ISFETs for bio marker detection via an immunoassay.