Development of Semiconductor Microchip that Can Detect Prostate Cancer Markers with Ultra-High Sensitivity

Associate Professor Kazuhiro Takahashi and Tomoya Maeda (a second-year Master’s student) and other members of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering at Toyohashi University of Technology have developed a semiconductor sensor capable of detecting ultra-low concentrations of tumor markers, on chips made using semiconductor micromachine technology. The research team succeeded in detecting only prostate cancer antigens by adsorbing disease-derived marker molecules contained in blood and other bodily fluids into the surface of a flexibly deforming nanosheet, using the principle of converting the force caused by the interaction between the adsorbed molecules into the amount of deformation of the nanosheet. Testing chips, formed in sizes of several millimeters across using semiconductor technologies, are expected to be used as IoT biosensors for home-based testing. Details Measuring devices that perform disease tests simply and quickly from small amounts of blood, urine, saliva, and other bodily fluids are extremely important for accurate diagnosis and verifying the effectiveness of therapeutic treatments. Substances that change in concentration according to specific diseases contained in such bodily fluids are called biomarkers. As one example, it has been reported that patients with severe cases of COVID-19 have different concentrations of multiple biomarkers in their blood than those with mild cases of the disease, and it is expected that this can be used to predict severity by examining those markers.

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