Real-time kinetic binding studies at attomolar concentrations in solution phase using a single-stage opto-biosensing platform based upon infrared surface plasmons

Thomas D.P. Allsop*, Chengbo Mou, Ron Neal, Stefano Mariani, David Nagel, Sara Tombelli, Andrew Poole, Kyriacos Kalli, Anna V. Hine, David J. Webb, Philip Culverhouse, M. Mascini, Maria Minunni, Ian Bennion

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Here we present a new generic opto-bio-sensing platform combining immobilised aptamers on an infrared plasmonic sensing device generated by nano-structured thin film that demonstrates amongst the highest index spectral sensitivities of any optical fibre sensor yielding on average 3.4 × 104 nm/RIU in the aqueous index regime (with a figure of merit of 330) This offers a single stage, solution phase, atto-molar detection capability, whilst delivering real-time data for kinetic studies in water-based chemistry. The sensing platform is based upon optical fibre and has the potential to be multiplexed and used in remote sensing applications. As an example of the highly versatile capabilities of aptamer based detection using our platform, purified thrombin is detected down to 50 attomolar concentration using a volume of 1mm3 of solution without the use of any form of enhancement technique. Moreover, the device can detect nanomolar levels of thrombin in a flow cell, in the presence of 4.5% w/v albumin solution. These results are important, covering all concentrations in the human thrombin generation curve, including the problematic initial phase. Finally, selectivity is confirmed using complementary and non-complementary DNA sequences that yield performances similar to those obtained with thrombin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-58
Number of pages20
JournalOptics Express
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2017


Bibliographical note

© 2017 Optical Society of America. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modifications of the content of this paper are prohibited.

Funding: EPSRC (EP/J010413 and EP/J010391)

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