Binary Research Group

Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, USA in 1998. The BINARY lab (Biology, Information science and Nanotechnology Applications and Research laboratorY) was founded in Spring 2003. The mission is to provide a cross-disciplinary research environment for exploring new nanoscale device & circuit designs and nanotechnology for bio-medical applications. Our primary research focuses include:

  1. Developing a pulsed-wave technology platform to stimulate cell growth (with the applications in cell therapy, tissue engineering, mental health and antibody productions), and microorganism growth (with the applications in increasing renewable biofuel /algal oil, antibiotics, omega-3, and wine/beverage productions);
  2. Building functional nanomaterials for water filtration (removing microorganisms, organic chemicals and heavy metals), gene transformation of agricultural products, targeted cancer imaging and treatment, gene/peptide/microRNA delivery (especially across the blood-brain-barrier);
  3. Designing portable impedance-based point-of-care devices for detecting metabolic biomarkers, monitoring environmental toxins, sensing plant infections at an earlier stage, and screening pathogens for food safety.
  4. Developing smart-phone Apps incorporating artificial intelligence methods to diagnose depression, especially postpartum syndrome, and invoke clinical intervention if needed. Making low-intensity pulsed ultrasound wearable devices for treatment.

The University of Alberta is home to cutting edge facilities such as the National Institute for Nanotechnology, as well as having the interdisciplinary expertise to be an epicentre for new waves of innovation in Biomedical Engineering. The University of Alberta was ranked 46th in the world for the impact of its engineering publications.

  
News

 
US patent awarded    (23/11/2019)

Our US patent "Devices and Methods for Nanoparticle Enhanced Impedance-based Molecular Sensing" was granted. Abstract: An impedance based biosensor and method for detecting a target biomolecule in a sample are provided. The biosensor has a substrate, and first and second spaced-apart electrodes disposed at the substrate. A molecular recognition element (MRE) for binding with the target is bound to the substrate between the first and second electrodes. The biosensor also has a nanoparticle having an MRE bound to its surface. In the presence of the target, the nanoparticle is immobilized between the first and second electrodes due to binding of the target biomolecule with the first MRE and binding of the target biomolecule with the second MRE. A measurable change in electrical impedance across the first and second electrodes occurs due to the immobilization of the nanoparticle between the first and second electrodes.

"A Miniaturized Low-Intensity Ultrasound Device for Wearable Medical Therapeutic Applications" was accepted by IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Circuits and Systems (special issue wearable and flexible integrated sensors for screening, diagnostics, and Treatment    (22/10/2019)

"A Miniaturized Low-Intensity Ultrasound Device for Wearable Medical Therapeutic Applications" by Xiaoxue Jiang, Wai Tung Ng and Jie Chen was accepted by IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Circuits and Systems (special issue wearable and flexible integrated sensors for screening, diagnostics, and Treatment). Abstract: Low-intensity ultrasound has drawn increasing attention recently as a non-invasive modality for medical therapeutic applications. Current market-available low-intensity ultrasound devices are bulky and expensive. In this paper, a battery-powered miniaturized device is proposed to generate lowintensity therapeutic ultrasound. The proposed device consists of a custom Application-specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), an off-chip digital control block, and a piezoelectric transducer. The ASIC, which integrates a DC-DC boost converter and a transducer driver, is implemented in TSMC’s 0.18 μm BCD Gen2 process. Measurement results show that a maximum output voltage of 14 V is achieved by the proposed fully-integrated DCDC boost converter with a battery supply voltage of 3.7 V. The peak power conversion efficiency is 29% and the output power at the peak power conversion efficiency is 105 mW. The on-chip transducer driver applies a half-bridge circuit with two n-type devices at the output stage. A low propagation delay, low power consumption, high voltage level shifter is proposed in this paper for the high-performance operation of the half-bridge driver. The piezoelectric tran [ ... ]

"Improved Low-Power Cost-Effective DCT Implementation Based on Markov Random Field and Stochastic Logic" was accepted for publication    (12/10/2019)

Yufeng Li, Yan Li, Deqiang Cheng, Fan Yang, Xuan Zeng and Jie Chen, “Improved Low-Power Cost-Effective DCT Implementation Based on Markov Random Field and Stochastic Logic” was accepted by IEEE Trans. on Video technology.  Abstract:  Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) is a commonly used building block for image and video compression. In this article, we present a Markov Random Field (MRF)-based design for DCT implementation because MRF logic gates outperform standard non-MRF units by achieving high noise immunity for applications to logic-based computing systems in deep sub-micron condition. Furthermore, it is found that stochastic logic, a low-cost form of number representation, can also efficiently simplify computations. By combining these two techniques, we present an improved DCT hardware circuit. The example eight-point onedimensional DCT (1D DCT) system is simulated using 65 nm CMOS technology. Simulation results show that the proposed MRF design can achieve 13% higher noise immunity and 47% area saving, compared with the typical stochastic 1D DCT using classical Master-and-Slave architecture. While achieving the same error rate of 0.21, power consumption is reduced by 52%.

"Al-Mo Nanocomposite Functionalization for Membrane-Based Resonance Detection of Bovine Herpesvirus-1" was accepted by Sensors & Actuators: A. Physical    (25/06/2019)

"Al-Mo Nanocomposite Functionalization for Membrane-based Resonance Detection of Bovine Herpesvirus-1" by Remko van den Hurk,
Mojgan Daneshmand, Masoud Baghelani, Jie Chen and Stephane Evoy was accetped by Sensors & Actuators: A. Physical Abstract: The functionalization of a nanocomposite AlMo surface with a bifunctional diazonium linker is presented. Binding of diazonium molecules to the AlMo surface was validated through XPS measurements of 4-bromobenzenediazonium tetrafluoroborate and the linking molecule 4-formylbenzene diazonium hexafluorophosphate. The linker was then used to bind monoclonal antibodies specific for bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1) to the AlMo surface coated chips. BHV-1 was successfully captured on the chip surface. The functionalization process was then implemented on 10 nm thick AlMo membranes and resonance measurements were performed to successfully detect BHV-1. A method for calculating the mass of BHV-1 on the surface of the membranes is presented and validated via finite element analysis.

"Cannabis Indoor Growing Conditions, Management Practices, and Post-harvest Treatment, a Review" by Dan Jin, Shengxi Jin and Jie Chen was accepted by the Journal American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) in March 2019    (08/04/2019)

"Cannabis Indoor Growing Conditions, Management Practices, and Post-harvest Treatment, a Review" by Dan Jin, Shengxi Jin and Jie Chen was accepted by the Journal American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) in March 2019 Abstract Cannabis has attracted a new wave of research attention as an herbal medicine. To deliver compliant, uniform, and safe cannabis medicine, growers should optimize growing environments on a site-specific basis. Considering that environmental factors are interconnected, changes in a factor prompts adjustment of other factors. This paper reviews existing work that analyzes indoor and greenhouse growing conditions (light, temperature, CO2 concentration, humidity, growing media, and nutrient supply), management practices (irrigation, fertilization, pruning, training, pest management, disease control, and harvest timing), and post-harvest treatment for cannabis indoor production (drying and storage).

Invited talk by Nanyang Technological University "Artificial Intelligent Circuit Design and Circuits for IoT Applications"    (29/03/2019)

Invited talk by Nanyang Technological University "Artificial Intelligent Circuit Design and Circuits for IoT Applications" on March 22, 2019 Synopsis: In this talk, two research topics will be covered. 1.Artificial intelligence is a hot research topic. The advancements mainly focus on algorithm development and software implementation with wide applications, such as data mining and unman driving. However, artificial intelligent (AI) circuit designs are rarely reported. Most AI circuits use FPGA to implement AI algorithms. Strictly speaking, they are not AI circuits. In this talk, the presenter will report their design of using artificial intelligent methods to design an ASCI chip. Design examples will be 2.Most Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are often battery powered. However, different functional modules within an IoT device often require different supply voltage. One example is our wearable device for treating mental health diseases and single-cell manipulation. The power change is five times greater than the supply voltage. High-voltage circuit design will be discussed in the

Our article "Therapeutic Systems and Technologies: State-of-the-Art, Applications, Opportunities and Challenges" was accepted by IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering    (21/03/2019)

Our article "Therapeutic Systems and Technologies: State-of-the-Art, Applications, Opportunities and Challenges" was accepted by IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering Abstract - In this article, we present an overview of the current state-ofthe-art developments and challenges in the areas of thermal therapy, ultrasound tomography, image-guided therapies, ocular drug delivery, and robotic devices in neurorehabilitation. Additionally, intellectual property and regulatory aspects pertaining to therapeutic systems and technologies are also addressed.

Teaching ("Nanobiotechnological Systems")    (03/02/2019)

Course Outline Nanotechnology is a newly developed engineering field, aiming to create nanomaterials ranging 10nm to 100nm in size. Nanotechnology has presented numerous new and exciting applications in a variety of fields. In particular, there are constantly new innovations in the field of biotechnology and health technology. Innovations in microfluidics, nanoparticles and DNA machinery are frequently being reported. Applications of these technologies are being adapted and applied in uses which improve upon existing medical technologies (such as enhanced medical imaging and cheaper, portable diagnostic testing tools) or which create completely new advances in medical technology (such as nanoparticles for cancer treatments and personalized medicine). The core of this course, nanobiotechnology, is very multidisciplinary in nature. In this course, we will bring together a variety of (at times seemingly unrelated) topics and present them in a cohesive way that can be introduced and understood by senior undergraduate and graduate engineering students. These varied topics include material sciences, electromagnetics, general physics, fluid flow, thermodynamics, organic chemistry, biochemistry and microfabrication. As this course is primarily based in an engineering perspective, showing how theory can be directly applied in practical applications is particularly important. This will be done through computer simulations (COMSOL simulations) and specific examples, in problem sets a [ ... ]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
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Dr. Jie Chen