Prof’s new book reveals how a tiny chip can revolutionize health care

glasses and pen resting on notebook

Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, has co-written a new book about the innovative realm of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, which has the potential to revolutionize health care.

Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh
Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh

What if semiconductor chips could do more than just power our computers, smartphones and other devices? What if they could help power our bodies? Ghafar-Zadeh considers that emerging possibility with his latest book.

“The influence of semiconductor technology has extended far beyond its role in developing digital and analog electronics,” explains Ghafar-Zadeh, director of the Lassonde’s Biologically Inspired Sensors & Actuators Laboratory. “It has significantly impacted life science and health by creating sensors and actuators that interact with biological molecules like DNA and living cells.”

In CMOS-Based Sensors and Actuators for Life Science Applications (2023), which was co-authored by two of Ghafar-Zadeh’s team members – Saghi Forouhi, a former PhD student and current research associate; and Tayebeh Azadmousavi, a visiting research scholar – Ghafar-Zadeh explores the world of advanced sensors and actuators (components of a machine that produces force), with each chapter dedicated to spotlighting unique iterations of them that reflect recent breakthroughs.

“I advocate for the inclusion of CMOS sensors in graduate courses, and this book serves as the first step toward achieving this educational goal,” he says. “By recognizing the pivotal role of semiconductor technology, the book explores its contribution to shaping the future of electronic devices across diverse applications.”

The book concludes by addressing challenges and proposing future steps to harness CMOS technology for creating cutting-edge sensors, ultimately contributing to the fight against diseases and enhancing quality of life.