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On Nanobioelectronics Perspectives: Overcoming Moore’s Law

Prof. Andrey Korotkov,
School of IT-management,
Academy of Nation Economy under the
Government of Russia Federation,
BPM Systems Department Head


This paper surveys the perspectives of nanobioelecronics – brand new field of science in manipulating, assembling, and applying DNA-molecules on integrated circuits with silicon devises. Looking beyond the immediate challenges, the new sectors of scientific research in the frontiers of bio-, nano- and organic technologies provides the opportunity for the emerging economies to find free niches on the global markets. We review the impact of mathematical methods in biotechnology, focused on improving capabilities to detect and diagnose new, reemerging, and antibiotic-resistant pathogens in both rural and urban settings and upgrading communication systems to provide timely and accurate information enhancing disease surveillance, monitoring food and water supplies for safety and potability. Combination of DNA-based biochips and DNA-nanowires with traditional silicon technologies could give the possible solution on Moore’s Law overcoming.

Key words: nanobioelectronics, nanobiosensors, post-crisis economy, crowdcoursing, nanoneurocomputing.


В предлагаемой статье дан обзор формирующейся области знаний – нанобиоэлектроники. Новая наука исследует передовые рубежи математического моделирования, расчетов параметров сборки вычислительных и запоминающих элементов, нанопроводов, базирующихся на молекулах ДНК. Их использование в сочетании с традиционными кремниевыми элементами в ЭВМ в среднесрочной перспективе позволяет говорить о новых рубежах в био-, нано- и органических технологиях, которые нацелены на мгновенное распознавание новых бактерий и вирусов, разработку новых лекарственных препаратов, в том числе, резистентных к традиционным антибиотикам. Кремний-нанобиоорганические сборки, базирующиеся на нанобиочипах, нанобиопроводах и нанобиоэлелементах памяти дают возможность рассуждать об отнесении в далекое будущее физических ограничений закона Мура.

Ключевые слова: нанобиоэлектроника, нанобиосенсоры, посткризиная экономика, нанонейрокомпьютинг


Combination of DNA-based biochips, nanobiowires and nanobiosensors with traditional silicon-based electronics is of great interest for many research areas. Scientists and engineers are exploring ways of manipulating, assembling, and applying biomolecules and cells on integrated circuits, joining biology with electronic devices. The overall goal is to create nanobioelectronic devices for nanobiosensing, drug discovery, and curing diseases, but also to build new electronic systems based on biologically inspired concepts. This research area called nanobioelectronics requires a broad interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to biology and material science. Even though at the frontier of life science and material science, nanobioelectronics has achieved in the last years many objectives of scientific and industrial relevance, including aspects of electronics and biotechnology. Although the first steps in this field combined biological and electronic units for sensor, we see now many applications in the fields of genomics, proteomics, and celomics as well as electronics. Recently, significant progress and far-reaching discoveries have been made in nanobioelectronics and nanoneuroscience that radically different from conventional electronics and neuroscience concepts. Novel fundamental theories have been emerged striving to coherently understand various aspects of information processing, computing, memory, and information propagation at the cell and brain levels. [2]


The problems related to enhancing disease monitoring, and ensuring the safety and beneficial effect of food and water supplies have always been considered by the Russian government as key priorities. These technologies have become in the past ten years critically important for the Russian Federation — all research in this field is being financed with the state budget.

Why do we talk today about implementing new approaches to ‘old’ tasks?

Firstly, it is due to wide range of opportunities which information technologies provide researches with. «Network is a computer» — this ‘mantra’ was repeated all over again by the early enthusiasts in network computer technologies. Their dreams came true. Communication networks, such as GRID, turned into a giant super computer.

Secondly, in 2008 the Russian government adopted a programme for nanotechnologies development which envisages the development of biotechnologies as well. The Laboratory of Mathematical Problems of Biomechanics, IMPB RAS in collaboration with some Russian and foreign laboratories is involved in devising new methods for noninvasive assessment of the functional state of soft biological tissues and diagnosing their pathologies, including cancer. Considerable effort is being made to develop methods for detecting such pathologies at the earliest stages. Central to the methods is the fact that mathematical characteristics of tumor tissues differ from those of normal ones. Besides this, normal tissues also exhibit different properties as they are in different functional states. Therefore tissues are deformed differently upon external loading. Reconstruction of the spatial distribution of the mechanical properties of soft tissues from the data on their deformed state just serves to detect cancer pathologies and to identify a particular type of pathology.

Thirdly, we continue to look answers to certain fundamental mathematical issues cut across all of these challenges. How do we incorporate variation among individual units in nonlinear systems? How do we treat the interactions among phenomena that occur on a wide range of scales, of space, time, and organizational complexity? What is the relation between pattern and process?

Fourthly, now we can talk about significant success achieved in the field of structural biology. Structural biology includes the analysis of the topological and geometric structure of DNA and proteins. It also includes molecular dynamics simulation and drug design. Mathematical and computational methods are essential to complement experimental structural biology by allowing the addition of motion to molecular structures. We made a progress in creating artificial neural networks represent mathematical or technical constructions built from neuron-like elements. Neural networks are used for mathematical modeling in neurobiology and for designing artificial intelligence systems. Accordingly, investigations on neural networks can be divided into two subfields: mathematical (computational) neurobiology and neurocomputing. Mainly, the research work of the laboratory is directed at modeling biological neural systems with the aim of understanding neurophysiological principles of information processing in the brain.

Experimental studies of the brain show that the dynamics of electrical activity play an important role in the interaction of brain structures. In particular, rhythmical activity and its synchronization may represent one of the general mechanisms of information processing in the brain. The work of the brain is characterized by a wide spectrum of rhythms which correlate with external stimulation and internal psychological state of the organism. Stable patterns of rhythmic spiking have been discovered in various parts of the brain in the recordings of the activity of single neurons, neural populations, and brain structures. Such experimental data were obtained in the studies of primary areas of visual and olfactory cortices, sensorymotor cortex, thalamus, hippocampus, and other brain structures.

Fifthly, the development of networks and WEB 2.0 technologies created new opportunities for the scientific community to discuss further progress of the new technologies. For example, a number of large corporations such as IBM conducted online forums on the prominent trends of IT development. At the moment we are ready in terms of technologies to hold such discussions in the field of biotechnologies. Let me please describe how it works. First of all a representational expert community is formed. For example, during Innovation Jam 2008, there were over 60 000 experts participating in the online discussion. Then the participants of the virtual forum bring forward ideas and discuss the issues on the agenda online within 3 days, for instance. The discussion is being coordinated by skilful moderators. At the end of the discussion comes the most interesting stage which is conducted on the basis of business intelligence methods. Clusters are identified, and correlation schemes are formed. Such method of collective intelligence, or collective brainstorming is called ‘crowdsourcing’, as it is performed by a broad range of experts which can be attracted worldwide through Internet. We welcome all interested scientific communities to participate in this joint work and hold a Biotechnology Jam in 2010 or 2011 году.


To achieve this goal [1] of a more robust public health system, the Russian government strengthened the regional policies and programs by:

  1. focusing on surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, and the development of countermeasures (e.g., drugs, vaccines) capable of addressing diseases in the broadest sense
  2. improving capabilities to detect and diagnose new, reemerging, and antibiotic-resistant pathogens in both rural and urban settings and upgrading communication systems to provide timely and accurate information
  3. enhancing disease surveillance, encompassing affected species of significance
  4. monitoring food and water supplies for safety and potability
  5. supporting well-focused research projects that strengthen the base of fundamental scientific knowledge
  6. strengthening programs to facilitate the commercialization of scientific findings within a regulatory framework that supports public health and the protection of agriculture
  7. developing an improved understanding of the relationships between infectious agents and important chronic diseases, a priority of growing international interest
  8. supporting the emergence of a strong biotechnology sector that enhances efforts to combat infectious diseases affecting the Russian population
  9. developing and implementing effective security procedures at the hundreds of facilities that can propagate, store, or distribute pathogens that, if diverted, could be used for bioterrorism; an important initial step is to conduct a careful nation-wide inventory of the many collections in Russia and consolidate collections where appropriate
  10. promoting broad transparency of Russian research and disease-prevention and control activities involving dangerous pathogens in order to reduce international apprehensions regarding the possible misuse of Russian research or unauthorized diversion of infectious agents, with comparable transparency also expected in other countries
  11. recruiting, training, and retaining an expanded cadre of biomedical scientists, medical doctors, veterinarians, plant pathologists, epidemiologists, and other relevant specialists who are equipped with modern technology and positioned to deal with infectious disease threats.

Russia has well-established institutions that are needed to support the achievement of these objectives. Among the priorities of the Presidential Innovation Program Russian scientific institutes are integrated is realistic, five-year goal for Russia is the evolution of a stronger, more flexible public health system that is increasingly integrated into the global community. This evolution will continue even as Russia responds to endemic and emerging diseases, including zoonotic diseases. On a broader scale, Russian achievements would make greater contributions to a more effective global approach to combating infectious diseases as improved and enhanced international cooperation develops.


RNA, protein, biomembranes, etc. are of a size compared to that of nano-fractions, nanopipes, quant dots.

Figure 1. Quantium-classic modeling of electron charge transfer

Source: IMPB RAS, 2008.

Semiconductive fractions, fullerenes or carbon nanopipes creates a new category of materials for developing unique electronic or optical systems. The key fields of nanobioelectronics include creation of biosensors and complex nanoelectronic DNA systems based on such hybrid infrastructures, as well as construction of nanobiotransistors, diods, nanomotors, etc. [3]

Figure 2. Nanobiochip

Source: V.D. Lakhno, V.B. Sultanov. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2007, 3, 703-705.

In order to create these devices it is necessary to build their quantomechanical models and conduct supercomputer calculations.

The success of biotechnologies in the fields of gene diagnostics, gene engineering, gene therapy, gene identification of personality and others puts forward the question of traditional boundaries for the start and the end of human existence, demarcation of norms and pathologies, differentiation of one’s own and alien, moral and immoral, legal and criminal. The lack of control and unpredictability of the consequences of manipulations at the fundamental biological (including genome) level turns ‘playing god’ into a Russian roulette of a kind.


While growth in APEC region may slow, the recovery process, based on very new scientific areas, should continue. Over the medium term, prospects hinge largely on successful restructuring efforts and reform initiatives. The recent recovery within the region, however, should not allow for complacency.

Closer integration with the global economy offers immense promise. But, equally, it requires increased vigilance to safeguard gains from market turbulence. ADB is working with its developing member countries in collaboration with other international financial institutions and developed countries, to strengthen their capacity to manage risks in the globalized market.


  1. В.Д. Лахно. Кластеры в физике, химии, биологии. - Ижевск : НИЦ "РХД", 2001.
  2. Nanobioelectronics - for Electronics, Biology and Medicine. Edited by: Offenhäusser, Andreas; Rinaldi, Ross © 2009 Springer – Verlag.
  3. V.D. Lakhno, V.B. Sultanov. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2007, 3, 703-705.

Copyright © 2009 Andrey Korotkov

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