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Project KODIAK

IMMS researches image sensors for chemiluminescence assays with Thuringian industry and institutes from Erfurt-Südost and Jena

Lab-on-chips (LOC) integrate various laboratory diagnostic procedures for sample preparation and analysis on one chip and can process and evaluate patient samples automatically. The disposable cartridges are often no larger than a credit card, their device platforms small and thus optimal for diagnosis or first aid in medical practices or for point-of-care diagnostics in general. Results can thus be provided more cheaply, faster and earlier than conventional analyses in a medical laboratory. In KODIAK, electronic, optical and fluidic components and associated integration techniques are being developed to open up LOC-based point-of-care diagnostics for further use cases.

Highly sensitive image sensors with SPADs for chemiluminescence assays

IMMS is contributing its expertise on CMOS-integrated optical sensors to the project. We are investigating how the new single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) of our project partner X-FAB can be used in highly sensitive image sensors for chemiluminescence LOC assays. We are developing a line sensor for reading chemiluminescence in microfluidic cartridges. In addition, hardware and software modules are also being developed to evaluate the sensor chip in an application-oriented manner.

First application – diagnosis of the frequently lethal CR syndrome

The development is essentially driven by enabling rapid and cost-effective diagnoses for cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and at the same time demonstrating the suitability of the technical project results in medical applications. CRS occurs as a serious side effect in a variety of diseases and therapies, such as immunotherapy, graft-versus-host disease, sepsis and infectious diseases such as Covid-19, and is often lethal. Depending on the study, for example, between about 20 – 45% of patients treated with CAR T-cell therapy in oncology suffer from CRS, as do the majority of corona patients who die. CRS must therefore be recognised and treated as quickly as possible. Currently, diagnosis is symptomatic, i.e. delayed and unspecific, and via blood tests and thus invasive, which excludes e.g. online monitoring. With the new image sensors, serious disease processes are to be detected earlier, clinical capacities are to be used more effectively and the medical care of patients is to be strengthened.

Acronym / Name:

KODIAK / Components and modules for improved optical diagnostics

Duration:2021 – 2023


Life Sciences|Life sciences| in-vitro diagnostics| cytokine release syndrome (CRS)| Corona| Covid-19

Research field:Integrated sensor systems

Related content

All publicationsKODIAK
Printed circuit board with microelectronic chip in a housing with microfluidic channels.


ISSW 2024

The International SPAD Sensor Workshop & SPAD Sensor School

Printed circuit board with microelectronic chip in a housing with microfluidic channels.



Point-of-Care Diagnostics: Innovations from assays, microfluidics to production

Printed circuit board with microelectronic chip in a housing with microfluidic channels.


CSTIC 2024

Conference of Science & Technology for Integrated Circuits (CSTIC) in conjunction with SEMICON China 2024



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 KODIAK project was funded as part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF-OP 2014 – 2022) under the reference 2021 FE 9127.

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Core topic

CMOS-based biosensors

We are researching CMOS-integrated transducers and their interaction with biological receptors. They offer the potential for precise, digital and cost-effective point-of-care tests and allow properties to be recorded on a molecular scale.

Service for R&D

Integrated Circuits

We offer the design and realisation of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) in CMOS, BiCMOS and SOI technologies. We achieve well-performing ASICs with our first runs (first-time right silicon).

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

Here we are developing sensor systems for in-vitro diagnostics that enable individual, decentralised health monitoring for all with electronic rapid tests.