Optofluidic Biosensors

Optofluidic Biosensors

Optofluidic sensor devices have emerged as a highly promising (bio)chemical and label-free sensing technology with potential application in fields like biomedical research, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and water, food and environmental monitoring. As (bio)molecular binding events alter the refractive index contrast and thus the propagation of light through the optical sensing element, direct quantitative and kinetic information on the molecular interaction at the sensor surface can be obtained. As a consequence, optofluidic sensor devices have the perspective to become one of the most sensitive label-free (bio)sensing systems.


Optofluidic Biosensors

In order to fulfill all the above mentioned promises and expectations appropriate surface immobilization chemistry is of utmost importance. For instance, the current status in literature shows that the sensitivities are worse when performing measurements in more complex media, such as blood serum or tissue lysate, whereas many analytes of interest even require limits of detections in a range below what at present can be detected. In particular, non-specific binding of interfering (bio)molecules is a major issues and thus underlying surface chemistry that combines efficient analyte capturing with minimal non-specific binding remains an area of intensive research.

In addition, in most optofluidic sensing devices the actual sensing surface corresponds only to less than one percent of the total surface area of the chip, though commonly used surface modification approaches do not differentiate between the sensing surface and its surrounding surface area, i.e. all surface is coated with the same analyte capturing layer. It is obvious that, especially at low analyte concentrations, this is detrimental for sensitivity and reproducibility of the sensing event.

Via our proprietary surface modification technology, based on innovative nanocoatings, the surface properties of optical (bio)sensor devices can easily be controlled and tuned, enhancing for instance wettability and analyte capture efficiency and/or eliminating non-specific binding. Furthermore, it allows us to selectively modify the sensing surface of the chip with an analyte capturing layer and its surrounding surface with an antifouling layer, considerably affecting the sensing performance.

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