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Project BICCell

IMMS is researching an integrated circuit for miniaturised, fast and broadband impedance analyses, e.g. on biosensors.

Although impedance spectroscopy is well established in scientific laboratories, e.g. for the characterisation of batteries and fuel cells, for monitoring the kinetics of chemical reactions and as a measuring method for biosensors, industrial application fails due to the cost intensity and complexity of these systems as well as the lack of transferability to various applications.

In the BICCell research project, IMMS will develop an integrated circuit (IC) to overcome the barrier to the industrial use of impedance spectroscopy. In contrast to the commercial devices commonly used for this purpose, the new IC will work with a method developed by the project partner, the Institute for Bioprocess and Analytical Measurement Techniques (iba), called relaxation spectroscopy. This involves the evaluation of the timing signal resulting from the excitation of the material with a step function.

With the IC, the method can easily be transferred to different applications due to its high variability and can therefore be used universally. The installation space and costs of impedance measurement systems can be minimized thanks to the IC.

The IC will be used to design a demonstrator and verify it in two selected applications: cell culture monitoring and test strip measurement. The SMEs in the committee accompanying the project can check the suitability of the chip for their specific applications and develop prototypes from it after the end of the project.

Acronym / Name:

BICCell / Research and development of an energy-efficient broadband impedance chip for real-time cell culture monitoring

Duration:2020 – 2022


Environmental monitoring and smart city applications|Life Sciences|impedance spectroscopy| cell culture monitoring

Research field:Integrated sensor systems

Related content

All publicationsBICCell

Press release,

Projektstart von BICCell: Impedanz-Chip für vielfältige neue Anwendungen

iba und IMMS entwickeln integrierte Schaltung für Relaxationsspektroskopie



Eric Schäfer, M. Sc.

Head of Microelectronics / Branch Office Erfurt

eric.schaefer(at) (0) 361 663 25 35

Eric Schäfer and his team research Integrated sensor systems, especially CMOS-based biosensors, ULP sensor systems and AI-based design and test automation. The results are being incorporated into research on the lead applications Sensor systems for in-vitro diagnostics and RFID sensor technology. It will assist you with services for the development of Integrated circuits and with IC design methods.


The BICCell project is funded by DECHEMA (Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) via the AiF (Federation of Industrial Research Associations) as a joint industrial research project (IGF) by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) / Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) by resolution of the German Parliament under the reference 21174 BR/2.

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Core topic

CMOS-based biosensors

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Research field

Integrated sensor systems

Here we investigate miniaturised systems manufactured in semiconductor technology consisting of microelectronic components for sensors applications, as well as methods to design these highly complex systems efficiently and safely.

Lead application

Sensor systems for in-vitro diagnostics

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