Nano Science and Technology Institute

Miniaturized bio-electronic hybrid for chemical sensing applications

Hybridization of biological and electric systems can serve as the basis for diverse applications ranging from biosensors and drug screening systems to neuro-electronic computers. Our technology enables the hybridization by creating an innovative physical linkage between cells and surface substrates, and using ion-sensitive field- effect transistors (ISFET) to transform the biological activity into readable electronic signals.

Organization: Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Primary Market: Homeland Security
Technology Contact: Ziv Hermon, Yissum

Overview of IP courtesy of Z. Hermon and M. Kainan Koren, Yissum

Hebrew University researchers have recently developed a bio-electronic sensor for the detection of chemicals such as nerve gases and insecticides by irreversible inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholine esterase. The detection is performed by sensing acetylcholine (ACh). The sensitivity of the hybrid to ACh has reached levels of up to a nano molar, constituting the most sensitive detection method to date. In addition, the response time of the sensor is in the range of a second, making it a promising candidate for serving as a fast and sensitive detector.


AChE-modified Floating-gate ISFET

Nava Swersky Sofer, President and CEO, Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, tells NWN, “A very important class of applications for such bio-electronic hybrid systems is sensors for chemical contaminants. Chemical sensors represent US$33 million of the US$422 million chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) sensor market, and miniaturization is a key factor in this field.” Ms. Swersky Sofer adds that the aim of the bio-electronic hybrid is to specifically recognize a substrate and to produce an electrical signal that is proportional to the substrate concentration.

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