CMOS based capacitive sensor matrix for characterizing and tracking of biological cells

Author's Department

Center of Nanoelectronics and Devices (CND)

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Reda Abdelbaset, Yehia El-Sehrawy, Omar E. Morsy, Yehya H. Ghallab , Yehea Ismail

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Scientific Reports

Publication Date

Summer 8-16-2022



The characterization and tracking of biological cells using biosensors are necessary for many scientific fields, specifically cell culture monitoring. Capacitive sensors offer a great solution due to their ability to extract many features such as the biological cells' position, shape, and capacitance. Through this study, a CMOS-based biochip that consists of a matrix of capacitive sensors (CSM), utilizing a ring oscillator-based pixel readout circuit (PRC), is designed and simulated to track and characterize a single biological cell based on its aforementioned different features. The proposed biochip is simulated to characterize a single Hepatocellular carcinoma cell (HCC) and a single normal liver cell (NLC). COMSOL Multiphysics was used to extract the capacitance values of the HCC and NLC and test the CSM's performance at different distances from the analyte. The PRC's ability to detect the extracted capacitance values of the HCC and NLC is evaluated using Virtuoso Analog Design Environment. A novel algorithm is developed to animate and predict the location and shape of the tested biological cell depending on CSM's capacitance readings simultaneously using MATLAB R2022a script. The results of both models, the measured capacitance from CSM and the correlated frequency from the readout circuit, show the biochip's ability to characterize and distinguish between HCC and NLC.

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