Evanescent field biosensor using polymer slab waveguide-based cartridges for the optical detection of nanoparticles

N. Teigell Beneitez, J. Missinne, E.W.A. Visser, L.J. Van Ijzendoorn, M.W.J. Prins, J.J.H.B. Schleipen, J.L. Vinkenborg, G. Rietjens, M.A. Verschuuren, Ganeshram Krishnamoorthy, J.G. Orsel, G. Van Steenberge

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We present a polymer optical waveguide integration technology for the detection of nanoparticles in an evanescent field (EF)-based biosensor. Polymer waveguides together with their light coupling structures are designed to be integrated in a novel cartridge concept which will eventually lead to cost-effective, rapid, and easy-to-use point-of-care testing (POCT). The selected slab waveguides generate a homogeneous and well-defined EF, illuminating magnetic nanoparticles that are used as optical contrast labels and are measured using dark-field microscopy. The nanoparticles quantitatively bind to the sensor surface in the presence of target molecules, mediated by antibodies. Compatibility of the waveguide materials with these biomolecules is therefore a strong requirement. When designing a biosensor for POCT, it is also necessary to consider fabrication and manipulation tolerances, targeting the compatibility with mass-production technologies. In this context, polymer optics offer unique advantages, and in combination with the optical contrast labels a very high sensitivity can be achieved. The sensing concept was assessed by comparing various commercially available polymer materials (LightLink, Ormocer, Epocore/Epoclad) in terms of waveguide design and fabrication, optical performance (detection of nanoparticles), and biological compatibility and performance as a sensor surface in an immuno-assay for cardiac troponin I.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


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