This study presents the development of low cost, rapid and highly sensitive plasmonic sandwich DNA biosensor using U-bent plastic optical fiber (POF) probes with high evanescent wave absorbance sensitivity and gold nanoparticles (AuNP) as labels. Plastic optical fiber (PMMA core and fluorinated polymer as cladding) offer ease in machinability and handling due to which optimum U-bent geometry (with fiber and bend diameter of 0.5 and 1.5 mm respectively) for high sensitivity could be achieved. A sensitive fiber optic DNA biosensor is realized by (i) modifying the PMMA surface using ethylenediamine (EDA) in order to maximize the immobilization of capture oligonucleotides (ONs) and (ii) conjugating probe ONs to AuNP labels of optimum size (~ 35 nm) with high extinction coefficient and optimal ON surface density. The sandwich hybridization assay on U-bent POF probes results in increase in optical absorbance through the probe with increase in target ON concentration due to the presence of increased number of AuNPs. The absorbance of light passing through the U-bent probe due to the presence of AuNP labels on its surface as result of sandwich DNA hybridization is measured using a halogen lamp and a fiber optic spectrometer. A picomolar limit of detection of target ON (0.2 pM or 1 pg/ml or 5 attomol in 25 μL) is achieved with this biosensing scheme, indicating its potential for the development of a highly sensitive DNA biosensor.
V. V. R. Sai,
"U-bent plastic optical fiber based plasmonic biosensor for nucleic acid detection", Proc. SPIE 10231, Optical Sensors 2017, 1023113 (16 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2265597; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265597