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Biomed Opt Express. 2013 Jul 15;4(8):1332-41. doi: 10.1364/BOE.4.001332. eCollection 2013.

Real-time, continuous, fluorescence sensing in a freely-moving subject with an implanted hybrid VCSEL/CMOS biosensor.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 420 Via Palou, Stanford, CA 94305-4075, USA ; These authors contributed equally to this work.


Performance improvements in instrumentation for optical imaging have contributed greatly to molecular imaging in living subjects. In order to advance molecular imaging in freely moving, untethered subjects, we designed a miniature vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)-based biosensor measuring 1cm(3) and weighing 0.7g that accurately detects both fluorophore and tumor-targeted molecular probes in small animals. We integrated a critical enabling component, a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) read-out integrated circuit, which digitized the fluorescence signal to achieve autofluorescence-limited sensitivity. After surgical implantation of the lightweight sensor for two weeks, we obtained continuous and dynamic fluorophore measurements while the subject was un-anesthetized and mobile. The technology demonstrated here represents a critical step in the path toward untethered optical sensing using an integrated optoelectronic implant.


(130.5990) Semiconductors; (130.6010) Sensors; (140.2020) Diode lasers; (170.3890) Medical optics instrumentation; (230.5160) Photodetectors

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