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Luminescence Detection Lab-on-Chip

Bioluminescence whereby light is emitted as a result of a chemical reaction offers several advantages over other photo-emissive detection methods such as fluorescence, including low background and the utilization of reagents with extended shelf life. Also, since no filters or excitation sources are needed, lab-on-chip integration is considerably easier. Commercial luminescence detection systems today use expensive cooled CCD-based camera setups and require large micro liter volumes of costly reagents due to the high loss in their optical paths.

There is growing need for miniaturized low cost biosensor systems for environmental and biomedical diagnostics. To address this need we have been investigating systems in which the luminescent chemistry is directly coupled to the detector surface. We developed a simulation model for CCD and CMOS imager-based luminescence detection systems. First the photon flux generation process from luminescence probes using ATP-based and luciferase label-based assay kinetics is modeled. An optics simulator is then used to compute the incident photon flux on the imaging plane for a given photon flux and system geometry. Subsequently, the output image is computed using a detailed image sensor model.

PIs: Dr. Helmy  Eltoukhy, Dr. Ali Agah and Prof.Arjang Hassibi
Collaborators: Prof. Mostafa Ronaghi and Prof. Abbas El Gamal


  1. P. B. Griffin, Ali Agah, J.D. Plummer, H. Eltoukhy, K. Salama, A. El Gamal, M. Ronaghi and R.W. Davis, “Miniaturized DNA Analysis Devices”, First International Forum on Post-Genome Technoloy, 19-20, 2002.
  2. K. Salama, H. Eltoukhy, A. Hassibi and Abbas El Gamal, "Modeling and simulation of integrated bioluminescence detection platforms," Biosensors and Bioelectronics Special issue: Micro and Nano Bioengineering, Vol. 19-11, pp. 1377-1386, 2004.
  3. H. Eltoukhy, K. Salama, A. El Gamal, M. Ronaghi and R. Davis, "A 0.18um CMOS 10-6lux bioluminescence detection system-on-chip," IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC'04), Vol. 47, pp. 222-223, 2004.
  4. H. Eltoukhy, K. Salama, and A. El Gamal, "A 0.18um CMOS bioluminescence detection lab-on-chip," IEEE journal of solid-states circuits, Vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 651-662, 2006.

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