Highly complex functionalities may be integrated into very small volume devices by virtue of microelectronics. Its increasing use in biosensors complies with requirements in medicine and biotechnology to autonomous systems and intelligent implants with integrated control, analysis and wireless data transmission including applications in point-of-care diagnostics and telemedicine .
The technical basis for the continuous performance increase within the last four decades was due to the continuous scaling, i.e. the ceaseless shrinking of minimum feature dimensions in microelectronic devices. This development, which was first recognized by Gordon Moore in an attempt to describe microelectronic integration and later named Moore’s law. It has led semiconductor technology to nanometer-sized objects, the extension of which compare to large biomolecules. The foreseeable integration of biomaterials will result in new sensors and hybrid devices. In particular, the running miniaturization will allow to construct smart sensor systems for the monitoring of metabolites continuously in our bodies as well as in bioprocesses [lifis online].
The Joint Lab Bioelectronics was founded by TU Berlin and IHP because of the increasing significance of this interdisciplinary field. The Lab aims at exploiting the benefits of microelectronics in biotechnology by working on common projects and investigations. In addition, students from the life sciences will come in contact with the microelectronic tool box at an early stage (see [Introduction to Bioelectronics]).