Biosensors (Basel) 2019 Mar 3;9(1). Epub 2019 Mar 3.
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy.
Biomarkers detection at an ultra-low concentration in biofluids (blood, serum, saliva, etc.) is a key point for the early diagnosis success and the development of personalized therapies. However, it remains a challenge due to limiting factors like () the complexity of analyzed media, and () the aspecificity detection and the poor sensitivity of the conventional methods. In addition, several applications require the integration of the primary sensors with other devices (microfluidic devices, capillaries, flasks, vials, etc.) where transducing the signal might be difficult, reducing performances and applicability. In the present work, we demonstrate a new class of optical biosensor we have developed integrating an optical waveguide (OWG) with specific plasmonic surfaces. Exploiting the plasmonic resonance, the devices give consistent results in surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for continuous and label-free detection of biological compounds. The OWG allows driving optical signals in the proximity of SERS surfaces (detection area) overcoming spatial constraints, in order to reach places previously optically inaccessible. A rutile prism couples the remote laser source to the OWG, while a Raman spectrometer collects the SERS far field scattering. The present biosensors were implemented by a simple fabrication process, which includes photolithography and nanofabrication. By using such devices, it was possible to detect cell metabolites like Phenylalanine (Phe), Adenosine 5-triphosphate sodium hydrate (ATP), Sodium Lactate, Human Interleukin 6 (IL6), and relate them to possible metabolic pathway variation.