24 February 2017 Detecting and identifying DNA via the THz backbone frequency using a metamaterial-based label-free biosensor
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Abstract
In genetic diagnostics, laboratory-based equipment generally uses analytical techniques requiring complicated and expensive fluorescent labelling of target DNA molecules. Intense research effort into, and commercial development of, Point-of-Care diagnostics and Personalized Healthcare are driving the development of simple, fast and cost-effective detection methods. One potential label-free DNA detection method uses Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy of the natural responses of DNA in metamaterial structures, which are engineered to have properties that are impossible to obtain in natural materials. This paper presents a study of the development of metamaterials based on asymmetric X-shaped resonator inclusions as a functional sensor for DNA. Gold X-shaped resonator structures with dimensions of 90/85 μm were demonstrated to produce trapped mode resonant frequency in the correct range for DNA detection. Realistic substrate materials in the form of 375 μm thick quartz were investigated, demonstrating that the non-transparent nature of the material resulted in the production of standing waves, affecting the system response, as well as requiring a reduction in scale of the resonator of 85%. As a result, the effect of introducing etched windows in the substrate material were investigated, demonstrating that increased window size significantly reduces the effect of the substrate on the system response. The device design showed a good selectivity when RNA samples were introduced to the model, demonstrating the potential for this design of device in the development of sensors capable of performing cheap and simple genetic analysis of DNA, giving label-free detection at high sensitivity.
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Sahar Mirzaei, Nicolas G. Green, Mihai Rotaru, Suan Hui Pu, "Detecting and identifying DNA via the THz backbone frequency using a metamaterial-based label-free biosensor", Proc. SPIE 10103, Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications X, 101031I (24 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2263694; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2263694
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