Bioelectronics, Paul R. Berger

Advisor: Paul R. Berger

Ms. Anastasia Lawson (Engineering Physics undergrad researcher)
Zach Imm (ECE undergrad researcher)

Thomas Rosol (Professor, OSU Veterinary Biosciences)
Ed McGlumphy Jr. (Professor, Restorative/Prosthetic, OSU College of Dentistry)
Ali Rezai (Professor, Neurological Surgery, OSU College of Medicine)
Phillip Popovich (Professor, Neurological Surgery, OSU College of Medicine)

Former Graduate Students:
Ms. Anisha Ramesh (ECE Ph.D. 2012)
Ms. Fang "Freda" Ren (ECE Master's thesis 2012)
Ned Ivanov (ECE/Pre-Med undergrad researcher, BSE 2013)
Tai Cheng (ECE/Pre-Med undergrad researcher)

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Importance of the Problem:

This project examines the usage of bio-sutstainable and bio-compatible electronics for in vivo usage. We work on FET-based sensors and FET-based accuators, including protein sensors, and in particular immunoFETs and bioFETs.

Brief Description of Our Work and Results:

Essentially, when a generic in vivo silicon based sensor is used, it will drift with its threshold voltage constantly moving as alkali ions (i.e. Na and K) intercalate into the standard silicon dioxide gate oxide. Here we report on a drift-free bio-capacitor that can be the platform for drift-free biosensors and bioelectronics. The substitution of silicon dioxide with aluminium oxide deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) already shows extreme promise in blocking ion penetration. Our exploration of other alternatives is just commencing.

For once application, we aim to facilitate the detection of organ transplant rejection before it is too late, allowing proper dosing of patients with anti-rejection medicines. In addition, we are laying a foundation for developing implantable artificial neurons. Alkthough it is true that there are a few common implanted electronics, such as pace makers, but these are always encapsulated inside stainless steel treated housings and the electronics are never in direct contact with bodily fluids. Advances, such as this here, could open the door to electronics interacting directly with the human body, both sensing and stimulating.

Awards, Citations and Recognitions

Electronics Letters Interview (March 2013)


  1. "ImmunoFET devices to interrogate protein content of tissues and biological fluids,". Stephen C. Lee, Wu Lu, Leonard Brillson, Gregg Hadley, Ron Pelletier and Paul R. Berger [Disclosure submitted August 11, 2011, Provisional patent filed January 23, 2013].

  2. "Ionic Barrier for Floating Gate in vivo Biosensors,". Paul R. Berger and Anisha Ramesh [Disclosure submitted August 3, 2010; Provisional patent filed September 22, 2011, Full patent filed September 21, 2012].

  3. "Fibre optic probe with Electroluminescent Light at Distal End," Alec Gunner, Karl Stephen Heeks, Peter Devine, Julian Charles Carter, George Bead, Richard O.Dell, Ian Millard and Paul Berger, filed by Cambridge Display Technology Limited in Great Britain.

  4. "Covering," filed by Cambridge Display Technology Limited in Great Britain (App. No. GB9928694.0), Filed December 3, 1999.


Ionic Barrier for Permeable Bio-Electronics like Silicon CMOS

  1. "Towards in vivo Biosensors for Low-Cost Protein Sensing,". Anisha Ramesh, Fang Ren, Paul R. Berger, Patricia Casal, Andy Theiss, Samit Gupta, and Stephen Craig Lee, Electronics Letters, vol. 49, pp. 450-451 (March 28, 2013). Plus, Berger Interview by Editor on page 436. 240 kB (PDF)


  1. "Interfacial Design and Structure of Protein/Polymer Films on Oxidized AlGaN Surfaces,". Samit K. Gupta, Hao-Hsuan Wu, Kwang J. Kwak, Patricia Casal, Theodore R. Nicholson III, Xuejin Wen, R. Anisha, Bharat Bhushan, Paul R. Berger, Wu Lu, Leonard J. Brillson, Stephen Craig Lee, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 44, 034010, pp. 1-12 (January 26, 2011).

  2. "Rational Enhancement of Nanobiotechnological Device Functions Illustrated by Partial Optimization of a Protein-Sensing Field Effect Transistor,". Theodore R. Nicholson III, Samit Gupta, Xuejin Wen, Hao-Hsuan Wu, R. Anisha, Patricia Casal, Kwang J. Kwak, Bharat Bhushan, Paul R. Berger, Wu Lu, Leonard J. Brillson, Stephen C. Lee. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems (Proceedings/Special Issue Paper for conference in Edinborough, Scotland June 9, 2010), vol. 223, JNN184, pp. 149-161 (2010).

Conference Presentations

  1. "Al2O3 Gate Dielectric with Ion Impermeability for in-vivo Biocircuitry,. Anisha Ramesh, Fang Ren, Patricia Casal, Andy Theiss, Samit Gupta, Stephen Craig Lee and Paul R. Berger, 2011 Fall MRS Meeting.

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Last updated April 27, 2013.

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