Photonics-on-a-chip: recent advances in integrated waveguides as enabling detection elements for real-world, lab-on-a-chip biosensing applications
By leveraging advances in semiconductor microfabrication technologies, chip-integrated optical biosensors are poised to make an impact as scalable and multiplexable bioanalytical measurement tools for lab-on-a-chip applications. In particular, waveguide-based optical sensing technology appears to be exceptionally amenable to chip integration and miniaturization, and, as a result, the recent literature is replete with examples of chip-integrated waveguide sensing platforms developed to address a wide range of contemporary analytical challenges. As an overview of the most recent advances within this dynamic field, this review highlights work from the last 2–3 years in the areas of grating-coupled, interferometric, photonic crystal, and microresonator waveguide sensors. With a focus towards device integration, particular emphasis is placed on demonstrations of biosensing using these technologies within microfluidically controlled environments. In addition, examples of multiplexed detection and sensing within complex matrices—important features for real-world applicability—are given special attention.