Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photonics: Sensing on the way

03.08.2012
Hollow optical fibers containing light-emitting liquids hold big promises for biological sensing applications

Processing biological samples on a small substrate the size of a computer chip is becoming a common task for biotechnology applications.


Schematic illustration of a hollow fiber. The chemiluminescent liquid in the core (yellow) is guided through the fiber, also with help of further hole structures (dark blue). © A*STAR

Given the small working area, however, probing samples on the substrate with light can be difficult. To address this issue, Xia Yu and co-workers at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have now developed an optical fiber system that is able to deliver light to microfluidic chips with high efficiency.

“Our compact optical fibers are designed for use with high-throughput detection systems,” says Yu. “They are ideal for use in space-restrictive locations.”

A common way of probing biological samples is by light. In this method, the sample is excited by an external light source and the light emitted in response is detected, which provides a unique fingerprint of the substance. Conventional techniques are able to deliver light to samples and probe the response, but they are not very efficient at probing a small sample volume. A solution to this is to use optical fibers that are able to guide light to small spaces. The drawback with this technique, however, has been that it can be difficult to insert the external probe light into the optical fiber with sufficient efficiencies.

Yu and her co-workers have now circumvented this problem by using optical fibers with a hollow core (see image). The empty hollow core can be filled with liquids — in this case, with chemiluminescent solutions. The liquid is important to promote the transport of light through the core. In addition, these solutions consist of two liquids that when brought together initiate a chemical reaction that emits light. If such a solution is placed directly within the hollow core the problem of coupling light into the fiber is circumvented. This not only avoids external light sources but also promotes an established technology.

“The use of chemical luminescence is a common technique for a variety of detection assays in biology,” says Yu. “By incorporating the emission mechanism into optical fibers, we can use it as a light source for sensing applications in microfluidics systems.”

First tests for such sensing applications are already underway, although some challenges remain. For example, there might be losses in the light emitted by the fluid if the emitted light is not perfectly confined within the fiber. Such problems can be solved through improved fiber designs and an appropriate choice of materials, and applications of these fibers for microfluidic systems are promising.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology

Reference:

Yu, X. et al. Chemiluminescence detection in liquid-core microstructured optical fibers. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 160, 800–803 (2011).

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>