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Opt Express. 2011 Jan 17;19(2):512-26. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.000512.

Transition mode long period grating biosensor with functional multilayer coatings.

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Optoelectonic Division, Engineering Department, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy.


We report our latest research results concerning the development of a platform for label-free biosensing based on overlayered Long Period Gratings (LPGs) working in transition mode. The main novelty of this work lies in a multilayer design that allows to decouple the problem of an efficient surface functionalization from that of the tuning in transition region of the cladding modes. An innovative solvent/nonsolvent strategy for the dip-coating technique was developed in order to deposit on the LPG multiple layers of transparent polymers. In particular, a primary coating of atactic polystyrene was used as high refractive index layer to tune the working point of the device in the so-called transition region. In this way, state-of-the-art-competitive sensitivity to surrounding medium refractive index changes was achieved. An extremely thin secondary functional layer of poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid) was deposited onto the primary coating by means of an original identification of selective solvents. This approach allowed to obtain desired functional groups (carboxyls) on the surface of the device for a stable covalent attachment of bioreceptors and minimal perturbation of the optical design. Standard 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide / N-hydrosuccinimide (EDC / NHS) coupling chemistry was used to link streptavidin on the surface of the coated LPG. Highly sensitive real-time monitoring of multiple affinity assays between streptavidin and biotinylated bovine serum albumin was performed by following the shift of the LPGs attenuation bands.

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