Integration of digital microfluidics with whispering-gallery mode sensors for label-free detection of biomolecules†
We present a multi-sensor chip comprising an array of whispering-gallery mode (WGM) micro-goblet lasers integrated into a digital microfluidic (DMF) system. In contrast to earlier demonstrations, the lasers are fabricated from dye-doped poly-methyl methacrylate (PMMA) at low cost using spin-coating, mask-based optical lithography, wet chemical etching, and thermal reflow techniques. Pumping and read-out of the devices is accomplished via simple free-space optics, thereby allowing large-scale sensor arrays to be addressed. We demonstrate the viability of the system by bulk refractive index-sensing and by measuring the specific binding of streptavidin to a biotinylated sensor surface. This is the first time that optical cavities are used for label-free detection of biomolecules in a DMF system. This approach can be extended to a versatile detector platform that targets a wide range of clinically relevant biomolecules.