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 NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

nachricht Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>