Design and Implementation of an Integrated Magnetic Spectrometer for Multiplexed Biosensing

C. Sideris and A. Hajimiri

Magnetic spectroscopy allows for characterization of the magnetic susceptibility of magnetic beads across a broad frequency range. This enables differentiation and quantification of multiple beads of varying types concurrently present in the active volume of a sensor’s surface. A magnetic spectrometer can be used for multi-probe tagging and identification akin to multicolor fluorescent bio-sensing. We propose a new sensing methodology to perform magnetic spectroscopy and analyze various important design parameters such as SNR and gain uniformity. We present a proof-of-concept design of a fully integratedCMOS magnetic spectrometer that can detect, quantify, and characterize magnetic materials in the 1.1 GHz to 3.3 GHz frequency range, where we demonstrate magnetic multiplexing capability using a mixture of two different kinds of magnetic beads. The sensor consumes less than 2 mW of DC power within the whole frequency range, requires no external biasing magnetic fields, is implemented in a standard CMOS process, and can be powered and operated completely from a USB interface. The magnetic spectrometer not only increases the throughput and multiplexing of biosensing experiments for a given sensor area, but also can enable additional applications, such as magnetic flow cytometry and signal-collocation assays of multiple probes.