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This paper describes the implementation of a smart-optical detector array for detection and concentration measurement of biochemical parameters in physiological fluids. Its application is in the low-cost microchip size analytical laboratories that use colorimetric detection, by optical absorption, as the analytical technique. The microlaboratory structure is composed of a microplate cuvette array containing the physiological fluids into analysis and an optical detector array underneath, which quantifies the light absorbed by those fluids. The detectors, together with their analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion, are designed and fabricated using a standard CMOS process. The on-chip A/D conversion is performed, simultaneously, using a 1-b first-order sigma-delta converter for each optical detector. The output signal of the device is a bit stream containing information about the absorbed light, which allows simple microcontroller interfacing. The proposed architecture has the main advantage of performing the simultaneous measurement of the light absorbed by the fluids, which avoids the errors that can be introduced due to light fluctuations in uncontrolled environments. In addition, the architecture allows on-chip calibration during each measurement. This means that the device can be reliably used in environments with noncalibrated light sources, e.g., in a doctor's office. The A/D conversion design described here represents significant improvements when compared with the existing designs. Moreover, the microlaboratory application holds great promise, by both improving benefits (quality of health services provided) and reducing costs (of physiological fluid analysis services).