Inductive Integrated Biosensor With Extended Operative Range for Detection of Magnetic Beads for Magnetic Immunoassay
Biosensors are prominent in several areas, such as medical diagnosis, food preparation, pharmaceutical industries, and clinical analysis; high performances are required in spite of attaining accuracy, sensitivity, low cost, easy handling, and portability, but the major parameter that is always representing a challenge for biosensors is specificity. High sensitivity and specificity can be obtained by combining appropriate transduction methods together with immunoassay techniques. In this paper, integrated inductive biosensors for the magnetic immunoassay process, which use magnetic beads as markers for biomolecules, are presented with potential applications to proteins and DNA measurements. The working principle and a dedicated fabrication technology, which also embeds thermal actuation and control, are described; in particular, an improved sensing architecture is proposed here, which allows one to expand the microsensor operative field toward very low bead concentrations. The sensor characterization results are presented together with the analytical model of the transduction principle; a detection limit of approximately 300 beads has been demonstrated. The microsensor is also capable of operating by measuring up to 450 000 beads with a good linearity. Therefore, the sensor architecture proposed here has been demonstrated for wide operating field with high resolution and good linearity; the results proposed confirm the suitability of the devices developed for magnetic immunoassay applications.