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Spintronic Biosensors

Biosensors are devices to detect biological or chemical materials using a sensor system containing a biological component. NVE has developed biosensor technology using its proprietary spintronic materials.

Some of the company’s research has been under government contracts, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) Bio-Magnetic Interfacing Concepts (BioMagnetICs) program, which covers the use of nanoscale magnetics at the cellular molecular level.

Applications include ultra-miniature biological warfare agent detectors, clinical diagnostic instruments, and laboratory-on-a-chip diagnostic systems. NVE biosensors have been independently tested, and has announced a customer that plans to use the technology in a clinical diagnostic instrument.

How do spintronic biosensors work?


Several spintronic biosensor configurations have been identified. In the configuration illustrated at right, a magnetic biological marker nano-bead adheres to the immobilization surface when a targeted biological agent is present. The bead is separated from a spintronic sensor by a passivation layer as thin as 10 nanometers. The sensor uses either a Giant Magnetoresistor (GMR) or a Spin-Dependent Tunnel (SDT) Junction to detect a small perturbation in the magnetic field caused by adhering beads.