11 September 2013 Nano-cone optical fiber array sensors for MiRNA profiling
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Up/down regulation of microRNA panels has been correlated to cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Frequent miRNA profiling at home can hence allow early cancer diagnosis and home-use chronic disease monitoring, thus reducing both mortality rate and healthcare cost. However, lifetime of miRNAs is less than 1 hour without preservation and their concentrations range from pM to mM. Despite rapid progress in the last decade, modern nucleic acid analysis methods still do not allow personalized miRNA profiling---Real-time PCR and DNA micro-array both require elaborate miRNA preservation steps and expensive equipment and nano pore sensors cannot selectively quantify a large panel with a large dynamic range. We report a novel and low-cost optical fiber sensing platform, which has the potential to profile a panel of miRNA with simple LED light sources and detectors. The individual tips of an optical imaging fiber bundle (mm in diameter with 7000 fiber cores) were etched into cones with 10 nm radius of curvature and coated with Au. FRET (Forster Resonant Energy Transfer) hairpin oligo probes, with the loop complementary to a specific miRNA that can release the hairpin, were functionalized onto the conic tips. Exciting light in the optical fiber waveguide is optimally coupled to surface plasmonics on the gold surface, which then converges to the conic tips with two orders of magnitude enhancement in intensity. Unlike nanoparticle plasmonics, tip plasmonics can be excited over a large band width and hence the plasmonic enhanced fluorescence signal of the FRET reporter is also focused towards the tip--- and is further enhanced with the periodic resonant grid of the fiber array which gives rise to pronounced standing wave interference patterns. Multiplexing is realized by functionalizing different probes onto one fiber bundle using a photoactivation process.
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Yunshan Wang, Satyajyoti Senapati, Paul Stoddart, Scott Howard, Hsueh-Chia Chang, "Nano-cone optical fiber array sensors for MiRNA profiling", Proc. SPIE 8812, Biosensing and Nanomedicine VI, 88120Q (11 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2023727; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2023727


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