Technological advancements have left their imprints on almost every industry across the globe — from healthcare to so-called legacy industries (retail, construction, and hospitality). The biotechnology industry is no exception. One of the recent technological breakthroughs in the world of biotechnology has been the integration of CMOS and CCD technology.
Let’s discuss these two technological advancements in detail below:
What Is CMOS?
CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) is a semiconductor technology used for creating integrated circuit chips. It was invented in 1969 by an American electrical engineer named Frank Marion Wanlass. Various industries have leveraged the state-of-the-art CMOS technology to mass-produce several cost-effective devices for consumers. This technology has specifically been advantageous for a wide range of biological imaging applications.
What Is CCD?
CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) is an integrated circuit for the sensitive detection of photons. It was invented in 1969 by a Canadian physicist named Willard Sterling Boyle and an American scientist and applied physicist named George Elwood Smith. CCD sensors have been a staple in imaging applications — they have been used in machine vision applications for ages.
What distinguishes CCD technology from CMOS technology is how the charge is transferred from the pixel to the imaging device or readout. While CCD outputs have an analog pulse, CMOS-based devices are digital. What this means is that they produce a digital output.
The demand for CMOS and CCD is at an all-time high!
The demand for cutting-edge technologies like CMOS and CCD is skyrocketing because of the emergence of new pathogens that are adversely impacting public health. In other words, there has been a significant increase in infectious diseases, and that has been the driving force behind CMOS and CCD.
Deadly viruses, such as the COVID-19, are proving to be a big threat to people’s lives and world economies. Apart from the notorious COVID-19, other communicable diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis, and Ebola are grabbing hold of people’s lives worldwide.
Deteriorating public health and an increasing number of deadly diseases at a global level demand advancement in precise and quick diagnosis techniques. Timely identification and treatment play a key role in controlling these diseases and reducing mortality and morbidity rates. On top of that, prompt diagnosis is the only way to prevent the birth of epidemics.
Present-day technologies are insufficient to meet people’s needs, efficiently conduct rapid tests and throughput screening, or quickly detect a wide range of deadly pathogens, including viruses and bacteria. What’s more, the conventional disease diagnosis and control techniques demand top-notch biosensors and large volumes of input samples. This diminishes the cost-effectiveness of the entire process.
Added to this are the costs of sample collection, transfer of samples to laboratories for analysis, and the transfer of results back to the healthcare professionals. All of this makes the process expensive and time-consuming. Consequently, only a handful of affluent patients get the essential treatment.
In contrast, CMOS-based devices are efficient, and they even make the entire process of disease diagnosis and control both pocket and patient-friendly. The optical devices created using the CMOS technology are widely popular for their:
- Short-time workflow
- High accuracy
- Power to detect infectious agents with low limits of detection
- High resolution
- High-throughput measurement
- Low power consumption
- Portability due to their compactness
- Enhanced sensitivity
The advantages mentioned above of CMOS technology allow the development of efficient devices, including point-of-care (PoC) systems, symptom screening devices, and lab-on-chip platforms. This aids in the quick and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases.
The most common applications of CMOS sensors
With all they can do, it is no surprise that efficient CMOS imaging sensors have found their way to today’s laboratories. They are proving to be helpful for a wide variety of applications. Some of the most common uses of CMOS sensors can be found in cancer research, developmental biology, cell culture, neuroscience, drug discovery, molecular cell biology, and live-cell imaging.
These days, microscopes are outfitted with either CMOS or CCD imaging sensors. Equipped with either of the two, these devices can capture the detailed and nuanced structures of tissues and morphological changes of neurons.
The CMOS technology specifically aids in dental imaging. Many CMOS imaging sensors have been developed for dental radiology, including cone-beam computed tomography and cephalometry. Furthermore, full-field digital mammography has also benefited from CMOS-based devices. These devices are particularly appreciated for their low-light sensitivity and compatibility with most surgical and operating microscopes, irrespective of their brands.
Additionally, another common branch of medicine and surgery, ophthalmology, has leveraged the CMOS technology. CMOS-based devices have higher color accuracy, resolution, and spatial precision, and these properties have helped ophthalmologists in the eye examination. The CMOS devices are beneficial for applications like inspecting optic nerve head and interior features of the retina.
Lastly, CMOS-based image sensors designed for cell studies have the potential to enhance point-of-care diagnostics technologies. In traditional techniques, cell detection and analysis are impossible without optical and spectroscopic tools, which are only found in molecular biology laboratories. In the near future, the CMOS technology is expected to integrate with the field of point-of-diagnostics — due to its high sensitivity, portability of the CMOS-based devices, and reduced energy consumption — and help overcome such challenges.
Let Universe Kogaku’s lens application engineers supply you with the best lens solution
At Universe Optics, we manufacture high-quality CMOS and CCD lenses that have a wide range of applications. All our products are produced with precision by a team of skilled designers and engineers. We ensure our lens solutions meet all your needs and are customized to your applications. To discuss your unique requirements with us, get in touch at 1-516-624-2444 or contact us online today.