A 0.18-μm CMOS Bioluminescence Detection Lab-on-Chip

Helmy Eltoukhy*, Khaled Salama, Abbas El Gamal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


The paper describes a bioluminescenee detection lab-on-chip consisting of a fiber-optic faceplate with immobilized luminescent reporters/probes that is directly coupled to an optical detection and processing CMOS system-on-chip (SoC) fabricated in a 0.18-μm process. The lab-on-chip is customized for such applications as determining gene expression using reporter gene assays, determining intracellular ATP, and sequencing DNA. The CMOS detection SoC integrates an 8 × 16 pixel array having the same pitch as the assay site array, a 128-channel 13-bit ADC, and column-level DSP, and is fabricated in a 0.18-μm image sensor process. The chip is capable of detecting emission rates below 10 -6 lux over 30 s of integration time at room temperature. In addition to directly coupling and matching the assay site array to the photodetector array, this low light detection is achieved by a number of techniques, including the use of very low dark current photodetectors, low-noise differential circuits, high-resolution analog-to-digital conversion, background subtraction, correlated multiple sampling, and multiple digitizations and averaging to reduce read noise. Electrical and optical characterization results as well as preliminary biological testing results are reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-661
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensor
  • Cmos imager
  • Lab-on-chip
  • Luminescence detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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