Trends in photonic lab-on-chip interferometric biosensors for point-of-care diagnostics
Portable point-of care (POC) devices for in vitro diagnostics will be a milestone for the achievement of universal healthcare and environmental protection. The main goal is to reach a rapid, user-friendly and highly sensitive portable tool which can provide immediate results in any place at any time while having a competitive cost. Integrated optical (IO) waveguide based-biosensors are the most suitable candidates to achieve this ambitious objective. They are able to operate in real samples (such as blood, urine, wastewater…) affording relevant sensitivities even under a label-free scheme. In addition, arrays of IO sensors for multiplexed analysis can be integrated in lab-on-chip (LOC) platforms, providing a truly cost-effective fabrication and miniaturization. Among the different IO biosensors, interferometric ones have demonstrated the highest sensitivity for label-free detection ever reported. Although the first interferometric biosensors were developed in the early nineties, they focused mainly on preliminary proof-of-concept studies; only recently the resilient potential of interferometric biosensors as highly advanced POC devices has firmly emerged. This review provides an overview of the state-of-the art in photonic interferometric biosensors, their main biofunctionalisation routes and their integration in LOC platforms, while maintaining a special focus on the real analytical applications achieved so far.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Portable instrumentation & point of care technologies