Waste water, drinking water and other industrial water sources are more and more/increasingly polluted with a large variety of contaminants, such as pesticides or residuals of pharmaceuticals. These compounds can impact human and animal organisms and lead to serious health issues. Today, in order to analyze the presence and quantity of the abovementioned micropollutants, samples are typically sent to specialized centralized laboratories and their processing may take up to several days. In order to meet the demand for continuous and consistent monitoring of aqueous solutions we propose a novel label-free technology system comprising proprietary chip and reader device designs. The core of the system is constituted by a planar-grated-waveguide (PGW) chip. Label-free biosensors, based on PGWs are sensitive to effective refractive index changes caused by the adsorption of biomolecules (micropollutants) onto the sensor surface or due to refractive index changes of the bulk solution. The presented reader device operates with a novel readout concept based on a scanning MEMS mirror for the angular interrogation of input grating couplers at a high repetition rate. The reader has fully integrated optics, electronics and fluidics and at the same time consumes limited energy (portable, field use ready). In the recent experiments, the effectiveness of the technology has been demonstrated with various liquids and bioassays showing (i) an excellent refractometric sensitivity with a limit of detection towards effective refractive index changes of ▵neff < 2 x 10-7, and (ii) the capability to perform affinity measurements for large (<150 kDa) and small (<250 Da) molecules.
Florian Kehl, Robert Bielecki, Stephane Follonier, and Denis Dorokhin, "Novel label-free biosensing technology for monitoring of aqueous solutions
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9725, Frontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems VIII, 97250N (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 16, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212171.4848770200001.
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