Label free sensing of creatinine using a 6 GHz CMOS near-field dielectric immunosensor
In this work we present a CMOS high frequency direct immunosensor operating at 6 GHz (C-band) for label free determination of creatinine. The sensor is fabricated in standard 0.13 μm SiGe:C BiCMOS process. The report also demonstrates the ability to immobilize creatinine molecules on a Si3N4 passivation layer of the standard BiCMOS/CMOS process, therefore, evading any further need of cumbersome post processing of the fabricated sensor chip. The sensor is based on capacitive detection of the amount of non-creatinine bound antibodies binding to an immobilized creatinine layer on the passivated sensor. The chip bound antibody amount in turn corresponds indirectly to the creatinine concentration used in the incubation phase. The determination of creatinine in the concentration range of 0.88–880 μM is successfully demonstrated in this work. A sensitivity of 35 MHz/10 fold increase in creatinine concentration (during incubation) at the centre frequency of 6 GHz is gained by the immunosensor. The results are compared with a standard optical measurement technique and the dynamic range and sensitivity is of the order of the established optical indication technique. The C-band immunosensor chip comprising an area of 0.3 mm2 reduces the sensing area considerably, therefore, requiring a sample volume as low as 2 μl. The small analyte sample volume and label free approach also reduce the experimental costs in addition to the low fabrication costs offered by the batch fabrication technique of CMOS/BiCMOS process.