Note: This content is accessible to all versions of every browser. However, this browser does not seem to support current Web standards, preventing the display of our site's design details.


Cell-Based Biosensor Systems for Toxin Detection and Drug Discovery

For many years, researchers have been able to grow living cells on integrated circuit substrates, and their qualitative responses to pharmaceutical agents have long been demonstrated. However, little work has been done to use this technology in realistic, repeatable, and quantitative instruments. Complete sensor systems can now be built that include full microenvironments for the cells and are field portable. These instruments include the sensor-containing substrates on which cells are grown, sensors for closed-loop microincubator control, dual cell chambers (for control and test samples), and all of the necessary fluidic interfaces. Cultured cells can be transported into the field and maintained in a sterile environment essentially identical to that found in a conventional incubator. These technologies can be applied not only to the detection of chemical and biological warfare agents, but also to the screening of new pharmaceuticals. This presentation will cover advances in the areas of cellular/electronic interfaces, engineered cells, signal interpretation algorithms, and system integration leading to the development and field testing of a self-contained, hand-held cell-based biosensor.
Type of Seminar:
New Vistas
Prof. Gregory T. A. KOVACS
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and (by courtesy) of Medicine Stanford University CISX-202 Stanford, CA 94305-4075
Jun 24, 2002   17:15

Contact Person:

Prof. M. Morari
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Gregory T. A. Kovacs received the B.A.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., in 1984, the M.S. degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985, the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, in 1990 and the M.D. degree from Stanford University in 1992. His industry experience includes the design of high-speed data acquisition systems, the design of instruments for integrated circuit fabrication, commercial and consumer product design, extensive patent law consulting, and the co-founding of several companies (most recently Cepheid, Inc. [CPHD], in Sunnyvale, CA). He currently serves on the scientific advisory boards of ten technology companies. In 1991, he joined Stanford University and is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering with an appointment in the Department of Medicine, by courtesy. He teaches courses in electronic circuits and micromachined transducers. He held the Robert N. Noyce Family Faculty Scholar Chair in 1992 - 94, received an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1993, was a Terman Fellow in 1994 - 97, was a University Fellow in 1996 - 98, and was appointed to the Defense Sciences Research Council in 1995 (he is currently Chairman). His present research areas include sensors and actuators, medical instruments, biotechnology, and microfabrication, all with emphasis on solving practical problems. He has published extensively in the technical literature, including authorship of a popular engineering textbook (recently translated into Chinese). He currently has ten issued patents (several pending). He greatly enjoys spending time with his wife and sons, and participates in a variety of outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, scuba diving, flying (private pilot), strength training, and running. In Oct. 2000, he took part in a successful expedition to Palau to locate and document (underwater search and photography) downed WW II aircraft in various underwater and jungle locations. In November, 2000, he took a team of Stanford researchers into the field with the U.S. Marine Corps at 29 Palms for a successful field test of a portable biological toxin detection system. He is a Fellow National of the Explorers Club. Relevant articles for the non-expert by the speaker / about the speakers work