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Mass-deployable Molecular Diagnostics (MDx), including COVID-19 Testing: An IC Designer's Perspective

11:00am-12:30pm EDT
Webinar - Online
Kelsey Rodriguez –

ABSTRACT: In the past year, the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected many lives globally. The suboptimal response to the pandemic revealed systematic deficiencies and gaps in our modern healthcare system. One specific area with consequential shortcomings was the diagnosis of infection and the pathogen, particularly the absence (or delayed deployment) of precision tests where and when needed. In this talk, we will discuss and review highly customized IC technologies, broadly defined, that have the potential to address this unmet need, specifically integrated biosensors and CMOS biochip systems. First, we will review the system-level requirements of molecular diagnostics (MDx) systems and explain how they identify the unique DNA/RNA sequences of the pathogen (e.g., COVID-19 one-hour PCR test) to detect infections while achieving appropriate clinical specificity and selectivity. Next, we will discuss in detail methods by which we can design and implement MDx sensors using IC technologies. We will provide specific examples, tradeoff analysis, and manufacturing options for realizing a true CMOS MDx biochip. At the end, we will list key challenges and potential opportunities in this field.  

BIOGRAPHY OF SPEAKER: Arjang Hassibi (S’99–M’05–SM’10) received the B.Sc. degree with highest honor from the University of Tehran in 1997, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2001 and 2005, respectively. He had his post-doctoral training at the California Institute of Technology. He is currently the CEO of InSilixa Inc., a start-up company that he founded in 2012. Prior to that, he was faculty member with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology at The University of Texas at Austin. He also has held various research and development positions in industry and academia, including being a research scientist at the Stanford Genome Technology Center and the CMOS High-Speed Integrated Circuits (CHIC) Laboratory at Caltech; visiting professor at IBM Research at Yorktown; and co-founder and VP of engineering at Xagros Genomics. His areas of interest and expertise focus on the intersection of biotechnology and engineering, specifically biosensors and bioelectronics, biomedical electronics, and integrated sensors.