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ACS Nano. 2008 Feb;2(2):255-62. doi: 10.1021/nn700220b.

Biofunctional subwavelength optical waveguides for biodetection.

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  • 1Chemistry, Materials, Earth, and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, California 94550, USA.


We report a versatile biofunctional subwavelength photonic device platform for real-time detection of biological molecules. Our devices contain lipid bilayer membranes fused onto metal oxide nanowire waveguides stretched across polymeric flow channels. The lipid bilayers incorporating target receptors are submersed in the propagating evanescent field of the optical cavity. We show that the lipid bilayers in our devices are continuous, have very high mobile fraction, and are resistant to fouling. We also demonstrate that our platform allows rapid membrane exchange. Finally, we use this device to detect the hybridization of specific DNA target sequences in solution to complementary probe DNA strands anchored to the lipid bilayer. This evanescent wave sensing architecture holds great potential for portable, all-optical detection systems.

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