Optofluidic plasmonic onchip nanosensor array for biodetection
Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing has been demonstrated in the past decade to be the gold standard technique for biochemical interaction analysis, and plays an important role in drug discovery and biomedical research. The technique circumvents the need of fluorescence/radioactive tagging or enzymatic detection, enables ultrasensitive remote sensing, and quantitatively monitors bio-interaction in real time. Although SPR has these attractive features that can satisfy most research/clinic requirements, there still exist problems that limit its applications. First, the reflection geometry of the prism coupling scheme adds limitations for high throughput screening application. Additionally, SPR instrumentations are bulky and not suitable for point-of-care settings. Moreover, the SPR sensor is embedded in conventional micro-fluidic cells, in which the sensor performance is limited by inefficient analyte transport. Suspended plasmonic nanohole array (PNA) offers an opportunity to overcome these limitations. A collinear excitation/collection coupling scheme combined with the small footprint of PNA provides unique platform for multiplexing and system minimization. The suspended nanohole structure also offers a unique configuration to integrate nano-photonics with nano-fluidics. This thesis focuses on developing a lab-on-a-chip PNA platform for point-of-care bio-detection. To achieve this, we first demonstrate that the figure-of-merit of our PNA sensor surpasses that of the prism coupled SPR. We also show that the ultrasensitive label-free PNA sensor is able to directly detect intact viruses from biological media at clinically relevant concentrations with little sample preparation. We then present a plasmonic microarray with over one million PNA sensors on a microscope slide for high throughput screening applications. A dual-color filter imaging method is introduced to increase the accuracy, reliability, and signal-to-noise ratio in a highly multiplexed manner. Finally, we present a nanoplasmonic-nanofluidic platform enabling active delivery of analyte to the sensor. Sensor response time is reduced by an order of magnitude compared to the conventional flow scheme. A dynamic range spanning 5 orders of magnitude from 10^3 to 10^7 particles/mL is shown on this platform corresponding to analyte concentration sufficient for clinical applications. The proposed approach opens up opportunities of a lab-on-a-chip bio-detection system for drug screening, disease diagnostic as well as clinic studies.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University