Optical biosensing is a growing area of research known for its low limits of detection. Among optical sensing techniques, fluorescence detection is among the most established and prevalent. Fluorescence imaging is an optical biosensing modality that exploits the sensitivity of fluorescence in an easy-to-use process. Fluorescence imaging allows a user to place a sample on a sensor and use an imager, such as a camera, to collect the results. The image can then be processed to determine the presence of the analyte. Fluorescence imaging is appealing because it can be performed with as little as a light source, a camera and a data processor thus being ideal for nontrained personnel without any expensive equipment. Fluorescence imaging sensors generally employ an immunoassay procedure to selectively trap analytes such as antigens or antibodies. When the analyte is present, the sensor fluoresces thus transducing the chemical reaction into an optical signal capable of imaging. Enhancement of this fluorescence leads to an enhancement in the detection capabilities of the sensor. Diatoms are unicellular algae with a biosilica shell called a frustule. The frustule is porous with periodic nanopores making them biological photonic crystals. Additionally, the porous nature of the frustule allows for large surface area capable of multiple analyte binding sites. In this paper, we fabricate a diatom based ultra-sensitive fluorescence imaging biosensor capable of detecting the antibody mouse immunoglobulin down to a concentration of 1 nM. The measured signal has an enhancement of 6× when compared to sensors fabricated without diatoms.
Kenny Squire, Xianming Kong, Bo Wu, Gregory Rorrer, and Alan X. Wang, "Ultra-sensitive fluorescent imaging-biosensing using biological photonic crystals," Proc. SPIE 10506, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XV, 105060K (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2018; Published: 20 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2292289.
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