Advanced cell-culturing platforms

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Electronics and Computer Science


FGPA based platform for biosensing on Point of Care diagnostics, Nowadays multiple diseases can be detected and analyzed in order to be cured or to be prevented
from spreading. Such a Point of Care diagnostic device that uses a PCB based biosensor is designed
by the group of Dr Prodromakis in Nanoelectronics department. The purpose of this study is to
investigate a novel approach of a multichannel amperometric platform based on an FPGA. The
main aspects to focus, is to eliminate the space required for the circuit as long as the price, in order
to be used on an affordable small sized PoC device.
Sensitive low amplitude signals produced from the biosensor can be captured and amplified
without the use of expensive off the shell ADC components. By using the digital LVDS ports of a
low cost FPGA, analog signals can be digitized and used for further processing and analysis. Most
of FPGAs offer a huge amount of LVDs pins that can be connected in parallel and increase
significantly the number of channels that the device supports. This method combined with a time
to digital converter (TDC) using a tapped delay line architecture, can boost the resolution of the
digital signal up to 14-16bits
Filtering and signal processing could be applied using DSP modules internally to the FPGA and
reduce the total size of the PCB. Additionally, modern FPGAs can support multiple
communication protocols for the device to be connected to PDAs or PCs.
Furthermore, a switched capacitor (SC) front end circuit can be used in combination with the
FPGA and achieve an even better total functionality. The basic component for a SC, the switches,
can be driven from the FPGA and achieve a fully configurable circuit on the go. Depending on the
captured analog signal the FPGA can automatically adjust the SC to increase or decrease
amplification and sampling frequency. Lastly, a big advantage of using an FPGA based platform
for PoC devices is low power consumption that can lead to a longer battery life and extended
operating time on portable devices.
For all the above reasons I believe that this research can bring new aspects in this field and derive
a new low cost and compact device for the PoCs.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1863067 Studentship EP/N509747/1 28/09/2016 30/08/2021 Michael Pligouroudis
Description A new PCB based measuring device is designed that is capable of measuring extremely weak currents (5nA resolution) coming from a biosensor. The Architecture is based on a reconfigurable switched capacitor integrator driven by FPGA.
Exploitation Route Any sensor that produces weak current signals that need to be captured and amplified could work with this device. It is not functional only with biosensors.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology