You are here : Home > News > Magnetic sensors for ultra-sensitive biochips

Scientific result | Biotechnology | Biodetection | Physics

Magnetic sensors for ultra-sensitive biochips

​Researchers from IRAMIS collaborated with a team from SPI (LERI) for the development of a microfluidic biochip ("lab-on-chip") based on ultra-sensitive magnetic sensors with giant magnetoresistance (GMR sensors), capable of individually and effectively detect magnetically-labeled biological targets.

Published on 8 January 2020


Inexpensive simple medical devices allowing fast and reliable counting of whole cells are of interest for diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Magnetic-based labs on a chip are one of the possibilities currently studied to address this issue. Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensors offer both great sensitivity and device integrability with microfluidics and electronics. When used on a dynamic system, GMR-based biochips are able to detect magnetically labeled individual cells. In this article, a rigorous evaluation of the main characteristics of this magnetic medical device (specificity, sensitivity, time of use and variability) are presented and compared to those of both an ELISA test and a conventional flow cytometer, using an eukaryotic malignant cell line model in physiological conditions (NS1 murine cells in phosphate buffer saline). We describe a proof of specificity of a GMR sensor detection of magnetically labeled cells. The limit of detection of the actual system was shown to be similar to the ELISA one and 10 times higher than the cytometer one.

Top page