FUTURE OF BIOCHIPS
• Biochip is a hypothetical computer logic circuit or storage device
in which the physical or chemical properties of large biological
molecules (as proteins) are used to process information.
• Biochip's surface area is no larger than a fingernail. Like a
computer chip that can perform millions of mathematical
operations in one second, a biochip can perform thousands of
biological reactions, such as decoding genes, in a few seconds.
The development of biochips has long
history starting with early work on the
underlying sensor technology.
Large- scale development of the biochips
was done in 1990s.
A glucose sensor was developed in 1962
by Clark and colleague Lyons which utilized
glucose oxidase molecules embedded in a
Developed in 1983 for monitoring fisheries.
THE BIOCHIP TECHNOLOGY
The biochip system is Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) system.
The multiple technologies needed to make a
successful biochip —
Sensing chemistry: to sense the biologial
Microarraying: the dense, two-dimensional grid
of biosensors deposited on a flat substrate, which
may either be passive (e.g. silicon or glass) or active.
Signal processing: Transduction must be done to
translate the actual sensing event into a format
understandable by a computer, which then enables
additional analysis and processing to produce a
final, human-readable output.
SIZE: The size of biochips is the size of an uncooked
rice. It ranges from 2 inches to 12 inches.
The major parts of biochips are :
It is the actual biochip implant . Also called as
Passive transponder or Active transponder.
The transponder consists of four parts :
1. Computer microchip- It stores a unique 10
to 15 digits long identification number ,
encoded via a laser onto the surface of the
microchip before assembly.
2. Antenna coil- simple, coil of copper wire or iron core.
It receives and sends signals from the reader.
3. Tuning Capacitor - stores the small electrical charge
sent by the reader which activates the transponder to send back
the ID number encoded. Capacitor is tuned to the same radio
frequency as the reader to establish communication between the
4. Glass Capsule- houses the microchip, antenna coil and
capacitor. A small capsule measuring 11 mm in length and 2 mm
in diameter. Made up of soda lime glass. After assembly, the capsule
is air tight sealed.
READER - It consists of an "exciter" coil which
creates an electromagnetic field via radio signals
and it provides the necessary energy to activate the
implanted biochip.The reader also carries a receiving
coil that receives the ID number sent back from the
activated implanted biochip.
The reader also contains the software and
components to decode the received code and display
The biochip is inserted into the subject with a hypodermic
syringe. Injection is safe and simple,comparable to
common vaccines. Anesthesia is not required nor
WORKING OF BIOCHIPS
Reader amplifies the received code, converts it to
digital format and displays it on LCD
Biochip sends ID code back to the reader via radio
Implanted biochip gets activated
The reader generates a low-power electromagnetic
field via radio signals
With a biochip, tracing of a person/animal
anywhere in the world is possible
A biochip can store and update financial,
medical,demographic data, basically everything
about a person.
Biochips really are potent in replacing passports,
cash and medical records.
They can perform thousands of biological reactions
and operations in few seconds.
Biochip as Glucose Detector:
The Biochip can be integrated with a glucose detector. The chip will allow
diabetics to easily monitor the level of the sugar glucose in their blood. Diabetics
currently use a skin prick and a hand-held blood test, and then medicate
themselves with insulin depending on the result.
The system is simple and works well, but the need to draw blood means that most
diabetics don't test themselves as often as they should. Although they may get away
with this in the short term, in later life those who monitored infrequently suffer
from blindness, loss of circulation, and other complications.
The solution is more frequent testing, using a less invasive method. The biochip
will sit underneath the skin, sense the glucose level, and send the result back out by
Biochip as an oxygen sensor :
The biochip can also be integrated with an
oxygen sensor. The oxygen sensor will be useful
to monitor the breathing rate.
It can also to check that packages of food, or
containers of semiconductors stored under
Biochip as a blood pressure sensor:
In normal situations, The Blood Pressure of a healthy Human
being is 120/80 mm of Hg. A Pressure ratio lower than this is
said to be “Low BP “ condition & A Pressure ratio more than
this is “High BP” condition. Serious Effects will be reflected
in humans during Low & High BP conditions; it may
sometimes cause the death of a person.
Sensors are available to detect the flow of fluid. It’s always
possible to embed this type of sensors into a biochip.
Blood flow detecting circuits with the Biochip can make
the chip to continuously monitor the blood flow rate & when
the pressure is in its low or high extremes it can be
immediately informed through the reader hence to take up
TO RESCUE THE SICK.
TO IDENTIFY PERSON UNIQUELY.
IN MONITORING HEALTH CONDITION OF
INDIVIDUALS IN WHICH THEY ARE SPECIFICALLY
THEY CAN PERFORM THOUSANDS OF BIOLOGICAL
REACTIONS,OPERATIONS IN FEW SECONDS.
THEY RAISE CRITICAL ISSUES OF
THEY MARK THE END OF HUMAN FREEDOM AND
THEY MAY NOT BE SUPPORTED BY LARGE
PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE.
THERE IS A DANGER OF TURNING EVERY
MAN,WOMEN AND CHILD INTO A CONTROLLED
THEY CAN BE IMPLANTED INTO ONES BODY
WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE.
If people feel that they loose their privacy because
of Biochips, they may resist use of it.
But if they feel that it could help in a lot of ways
like detecting , monitoring and curing of diseases
they can use them intensively.
So it is users of chip who determine its future .
FUTURE OF BIOCHIPS
Biochips are fast, accurate, miniaturized and can
be expected to become economically
advantageous attributes that make them
analogous to a computer chip.
Since the potential applications are vast, both for
research and clinical use, the potential markets for
biochips will be huge, a powerful driving force for
their continued development.