Commercial Molecular Electronics Chips in 2021

Roswell Biotechnologies and IMEC are partnering to develop the first molecular electronics chips for disease surveillance, precision medicine and DNA storage. They are targeting 2021 for commercial molecular electronic chips.

In 2018, IMEC and Candence taped out a 3 nanometer precision test chip.

IMEC also has onchip fluid sensors and tiny sensors for internet of thing devices.

Roswell’s platform tethers a polymerase into a nanosocket, as part of an electronic circuit with a molecular wire of some kind. As the polymerase incorporates nucleotides by executing an opening-and-closing motion that resembles a finger-and-thumb motion, it moves charged groups on the surface with respect to the wire, changing the scattering of electrons. A current spike occurs each time a nucleotide is incorporated, contributing to a sequence-specific signal pattern. The sensor is integrated into a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip. CMOS chips are also used in Illumina’s iSeq platform and Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Ion Torrent technology.

Philip Collins at UCi published in Science – “Single Molecule Lysozyme Dynamics
Monitored by an Electronic Circuit.” It described a molecular electronics approach in
which a transducer for protein motion is obtained by tethering a single lysozyme
molecule to a carbon nanotube. This approach, readers understood, could be used to
build electronic devices capable of monitoring single enzymes. Collins is working with Illumina to investigate a new, all-electronic sequencing methods that have the potential to become the next transformative step for DNA sequencing. Collins and Illumina are competitors to Roswell Biotech.

The Roswell Biotech and IMEC molecular chips will have larger scale than the devices that Roswell Biotech has already made. Imec provides access to nanometer prcise foundries, tools and the process development experts capable of creating processors that can then be used to make molecular electronics chips commercially, at scale.

* Disease surveillance
Rapid, low cost, mobile detection systems for diverse biomarkers. Enabling powerful, in-the-field pathogen detection, infectious disease monitoring, environmental monitoring, and identification of bio-specimens, species or individuals.

* Precision Medicine Genome

Roswell wants to deliver the $100, 1-hour Genome for precision medicine. Simple, fast, low cost and with clinical-grade accuracy including phasing, assembly and direct reading of epigenetic data.

* Exabyte storage using DNA
DNA writing technologies enable the storage of unprecedented volumes of data, on the Exabyte scale, Roswell provides the reader solution with the speed and economics required for a complete data storage system. Roswell has a CMOS chip with 100 million DNA reading devices.

In June 2019, scientists reported that all 16 GB of Wikipedia have been encoded into synthetic DNA. Startup Catalog placed all of the text of Wikipedia’s English-language version onto the same genetic molecules our own bodies use. Catalog’s DNA writing machine can write data at a rate of 4 megabits per second. Roswell will enable massively parallel DNA writing to boost the reading and writing rates.

On Feb. 17, 2020, Roswell Biotechnologies announced that it is a member of a team led by Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) that has been awarded a US government contract worth up to $25 million to develop a sequencing technology capable of reading data stored in DNA at speeds up to 10 TB per day, or more than 400x times the speed of currently available sequencing technologies.

The GTRI led program also involves the University of Washington and Microsoft for the system architecture, data analysis, and coding algorithms and Twist Bioscience for the DNA synthesis portion. The award to Roswell supports development of a high-speed, low-cost, and energy-efficient platform for reading data that has been stored in DNA.

Roswell is creating molecular electronic sensors on CMOS chips. They are trying to create enough pixels to read a whole genome. They are working on the sequencing chemistry and enzymes for this system. They integrate the chemistry via an electronic signal that is then read by electronics. They plan to be commercialized in one to two years.

They want to use different molecules for different processes.

They could eventually use molecules to scale beyond CMOS.

SOURCES- Roswell Biotechnologies, University of Georgia, IMEC
Written By Brian Wang,

1 thought on “Commercial Molecular Electronics Chips in 2021”

  1. This should turn out to be very interesting, quite useful in the medical industry. Of course, some people will likely freak out about privacy and surveillance. Overall, though, useful.

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