Label-free silicon photonic biosensors for use in clinical diagnostics
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Proc. SPIE, Silicon Photonics VIII, Volume 8629, Issue 862909, p.862909--14 (2013)
Silicon photonics is poised to revolutionize biosensing applications, specifically in medical diagnostics. Optical sensors can be designed to improve clinically-relevant diagnostic assays and be functionalized to capture and detect target biomarkers of interest. There are various approaches to designing these sensors - improving the devices' performance, increasing the interaction of light with the analyte, and matching the characteristics of the biomolecules by using architectures that complement the biosensing application. Using e-beam lithography and standard foundry processes, we have investigated Transverse Magnetic (TM) and Transverse Electric (TE) disk and ring resonators. TM devices hold the potential for higher sensitivity and large-particle sensing capabilities due to the increased penetration distance of light into the analyte. In addition, devices such as slot wavegguide Bragg grating sensors have shown high sensitivities and high quality factors and may present advantages for specific biosensing applications. These devices have been investigated for wavelengths around λ=1550 nm (conventional wavelength window in fiber-optic communication) and λ=1220 nm, where the water absorption is greatly decreased, offering improved limits of detection. Using reversibly bonded PDMS microfluidic flow cells, the performance and bio-detection capabilities of these devices were characterized. Comparing binding performance across these devices will help validate architectures suitable for biological applications. The most promising sensors for each application will then be identified for further study and development. This paper will discuss the sensors' comparative advantages for different applications in biosensing and provide an outlook for future work in this field.