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Aurora magazine

Silicon technology: the future of prenatal screening

Silicon technology is one of the most promising branches to develop cost effective prenatal screening tests. Its application goes beyond creating smaller computers and more powerful smartphones. The ability to collect data faster and better will in fact expand the computational power of many of the machines used today for DNA analysis.

For current technology to go further, you need to find a way to shrink blocks of chips again. Only at this point will it be possible to have large machines like the ones present but much more powerful. In the field of medical research and the provision of health services, this will mean easier and cheaper personal care.

Semiconductor studies are leading to new data analysis tools, smaller and faster. Today it is possible to have silicon components as large as cells or biomolecules. The next step will be bridges between chips and biology, which will lead to compact DNA sequencing machines and miniature diagnostic tests. Science fiction? Not for long.
Fetal DNA tests allow to analyze the presence of possible anomalies, which is the cause of future pathologies. Some companies are processing silicon photonic chips that can read multiple DNA molecules in parallel. These are accompanied by sensors made with semiconductors complementary to metallic oxide, which improve their quality. This increases the DNA analyzed every hour, with a collapse of the time spent, resources and costs. It is estimated that all this will lead to a 50% lower equipment cost, with machines that can generate up to seven times the current information.