The CAN-Q Chip is the heart of the CAN-Q System: Nearly 100,000 measuring pixels are integrated on an area of 1.6 x 2.5 mm². The chip is optimized for CAN-Spectroscopy measurements and is a Venneos in-house development. A printed circuit board serves as carrier for the silicon-chip.
A thin layer of TiO2 covers the surface of the chip, separating electronic from biological world. As TiO2 has glass-like properties, cells already attach to the untreated TiO2 surface. To improve the adhesion of the cells and enable more experiments, the surface can be functionalized with extracellular matrix proteins such as fibronectin, collagen or laminin. A culture chamber leaving the sensitive area uncovered is glued on the chip. To establish a cell culture, cell suspension is pipetted into the culture chamber. The singlets are then usually placed inside an incubator in order to allow the cells to adhere. The design of the culture chamber enables parallel optical observation of an experiment. Even parallel fluorescence microscopy is possible.
After measurement, cells are removed from the chip and the surface can be cleaned and sterilized. Afterwards, a new functionalization can be applied, allowing for a reuse of the CAN-Q Chip.