BORNHEIM, Germany Infineon Technologies AG said it produced an electronic biochip that it expects will enter clinical evaluation in hospitals in 2003.

The chip can detect at the same time 128 different types of biomolecules, such as DNA and proteins.

For each target molecule to be detected, the chip uses pairs of neighboring gold electrodes. In the case of DNA detection, single-chain DNA fragments as probe molecules are attached to the electrodes, Infineon project manager Roland Thewes explained.

Munich-based Infineon expects electronic biochips to reduce costs for medical diagnosis. Potential applications include pharmacogenetic testing, Thewes said. “In the long term we are also thinking about point-of-care and home-care applications.”

The biochemistry and electrochemistry for the chip was provided by the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology, of Itzehoe; November AG, of Erlangen; Eppendorf AG, of Hamburg; and by subsidiaries of Siemens AG, of Munich.

Infineon is the 10th leading semiconductor company by sales worldwide, it said. It was spun off from Siemens in 1999. Rainer Langen