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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 709; doi:10.3390/s16050709

A Low-Noise Transimpedance Amplifier for BLM-Based Ion Channel Recording

1
Department of Electrical Electronic and Information Engineering G. Marconi, University of Bologna, Cesena Campus, Via Venezia 52, IT-47521 Cesena, Italy
2
Advanced Research Center on Electronic Systems (ARCES), University of Bologna, Cesena Campus, Via Venezia 52, IT-47521 Cesena, Italy
3
Center for Industrial Research (CIRI-ICT), University of Bologna, Via Venezia 52, IT-47521 Cesena, Italy
4
Department of Electronic and Computer Science & Institute for Life Science, University of Southampton, University Road, SO17 1BJ Southampton, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander Star
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6158 KB, uploaded 19 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

High-throughput screening (HTS) using ion channel recording is a powerful drug discovery technique in pharmacology. Ion channel recording with planar bilayer lipid membranes (BLM) is scalable and has very high sensitivity. A HTS system based on BLM ion channel recording faces three main challenges: (i) design of scalable microfluidic devices; (ii) design of compact ultra-low-noise transimpedance amplifiers able to detect currents in the pA range with bandwidth >10 kHz; (iii) design of compact, robust and scalable systems that integrate these two elements. This paper presents a low-noise transimpedance amplifier with integrated A/D conversion realized in CMOS 0.35 μm technology. The CMOS amplifier acquires currents in the range ±200 pA and ±20 nA, with 100 kHz bandwidth while dissipating 41 mW. An integrated digital offset compensation loop balances any voltage offsets from Ag/AgCl electrodes. The measured open-input input-referred noise current is as low as 4 fA/√Hz at ±200 pA range. The current amplifier is embedded in an integrated platform, together with a microfluidic device, for current recording from ion channels. Gramicidin-A, α-haemolysin and KcsA potassium channels have been used to prove both the platform and the current-to-digital converter. View Full-Text
Keywords: transimpedance amplifier; current sensing circuit; low-noise amplifier; low-noise current sensor; noise; ion channel recording; bilayer lipid membranes; electrophysiology transimpedance amplifier; current sensing circuit; low-noise amplifier; low-noise current sensor; noise; ion channel recording; bilayer lipid membranes; electrophysiology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Crescentini, M.; Bennati, M.; Saha, S.C.; Ivica, J.; de Planque, M.; Morgan, H.; Tartagni, M. A Low-Noise Transimpedance Amplifier for BLM-Based Ion Channel Recording. Sensors 2016, 16, 709.

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