SemiSynBio SemiSynBio
Semiconductor Synthetic Biology

Victor Zhirnov, Director

Research on hybrid bio-semiconductor systems will accelerate advancements in the capabilities and applications
of future-generation integrated circuits.


The role of the SemiSynBio Thrust is to stimulate non-traditional thinking about the issues facing the semiconductor industry, concentrating on synergies between synthetic biology and semiconductor technology that could lead to novel, breakthrough solutions for a wide range of industries. Results from the university research, guided by semiconductor industry needs, should significantly enhance and accelerate opportunities for advancing capabilities and applications for future generations of integrated circuits.

Research Focus

Cytomorphic-Semiconductor Circuit Design

Designers for semiconductor circuits and systems have begun to look to biological sciences for new approaches to analog and digital design and to circuits and system architectures, especially for minimum-energy electronic systems. The term ‘cytomorphic electronics’ refers to electronic circuits and information processing inspired by the operation of chemical circuits and information processing in cells.

Bioelectric Sensors, Actuators and Energy Sources

Biological sensors have the potential to play an important role in multi-functional semiconductor systems. As an example, SRC is studying the integration of live cells with CMOS technology to form a hybrid bio-semiconductor system that provides high signal sensitivity and specificity at low operating energy.

Molecular-precision Additive Fabrication

As the demands continue to grow for more exacting pattern formation and complex materials systems for semiconductor fabrication — as feature sizes shrink to the 5 nanometer (nm) regime — molecular-based self-assembly could offer an alternative to lithographically driven manufacturing. DNA can be used as an active agent to provide information content to guide structure formation. SRC is investigating processes that will both improve fabrication yields and provide purification of correctly formed structures that significantly reduce the occurrence of defects in making DNA nanostructures.

SemiSynBio Roadmap

  1. A broad-based consortium is being led by SRC toward the development of a SemiSynBio research roadmap. Read more »

SemiSynBio Metrics

  1. Current

    3 Research Tasks
    3 Universities
    3 Faculty Researchers
    1 Liaison Personnel
  2. This Year

    1 Task Starts
    11 Research Publications
  3. Last Year

    1 Task Starts
    17 Research Publications
    1 Patent Applications
  4. Since Inception

    10 Research Tasks
    8 Universities
    13 Students
    11 Faculty Researchers
    7 Liaison Personnel
    82 Research Publications
    4 Patent Applications
Updated: 28-Mar-2017, 12:05 a.m. ET