Development of Low-Cost Optical Waveguide Biosensors Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance

Project: Research

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With today's concerns on healthcare and environment pollution, there is a growing demand of biosensing applications in food safety, drug development, biomedical research, diagnosis, and environment monitoring. Recently, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) based on exploiting the interaction of light with the environment has emerged as a promising technology for developing real-time biosensors. This technology has been developed into commercial instruments, but the optical technology employed is expensive and does not allow sensor integration, which limits their market. In this project, we propose a waveguide-based SPR biosensor, which offers many advantages: low cost, small size, high sensitivity, label-free sensing, and feasibility of integration. The proposed sensor consists of a metal-coated waveguide covered with a thin high-index oxide layer, which is further covered with a monolayer of gold nanoparticles or graphene for molecule binding by adsorption. This new waveguide structure relaxes the traditional constraints of the SPR technology in the choice of waveguide material and the refractive-index range of the bio-substances to be measured. As such, our sensor can be fabricated with polymer material at a low cost, and designed to operate in solutions with any refractive indices, including aqueous solutions. The outcomes of the project will benefit all biotechnology-related industries.


Project number9440240
Grant typeITF
Effective start/end date1/01/20 → …