EDC-mediated oligonucleotide immobilization on a long period grating optical biosensor

Xianfeng Chen, Chen Liu, Marcus D. Hughes, David A. Nagel, Anna V. Hine, Lin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present the development and simplification of label-free fiber optic biosensors based on immobilization of oligonucleotides on dual-peak long period gratings (dLPGs). This improvement is the result of a simplification of biofunctionalization methodology. A one-step 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC)-mediated reaction has been developed for the straightforward immobilization of unmodified oligonucleotides on the glass fiber surface along the grating region, leading to covalent attachment of a 5´-phosphorylated probe oligonucleotide to the amino-derivatized fiber grating surface. Immobilization is achieved via a 5´phosphate-specific linkage, leaving the remainder of the oligonucleotide accessible for binding reactions. The dLPG has been tested in different external media to demonstrate its inherent ultrahigh sensitivity to the surrounding-medium refractive index (RI) achieving 50- fold improvement in RI sensitivity over the previously-published LPG sensor in media with RI’s relevant to biological assays. After functionalization, the dLPG biosensor was used to monitor the hybridization of complementary oligonucleotides showing a detectable oligonucleotide concentration of 4 nM. The proposed one-step EDC reaction approach can be further extended to develop fiber optic biosensors for disease analysis and medical diagnosis with the advances of label-free, real-time, multiplex, high sensitivity and specificity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1000173
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Chen X, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: FP7 PIRSES-2013-612267 and the Ser Cymru NRN.


  • optical fiber biosensor
  • long period grating
  • label-free
  • oligonucleotide
  • DNA
  • EDC-mediated reaction


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