Integrated Photonic Biosensors

Silicon photonic biosensors have shown to be capable of obtaining state-of-the-art sensitivity values unattainable with other technologies. Besides, they offer small footprint allowing multiplexed solutions to be realized in a single chip and potential low cost due to compatibility with the CMOS manufacturing infrastructure.

This makes them excellent candidates for the development of low-cost systems for in vitro diagnosis of diseases such as those required for the development of personalized medicine at the point-of-care (PoC). Promoting the practical use of these systems still face some challenges. For instance, highly multiplexed solutions require complex input/output interfaces that have low tolerance to cartridge positioning. Moreover, baseline drift makes it impossible to reach theoretical LOD values in real field applications without overcomplicating the reading equipment.

The best results for silicon nitride photonic biosensors have shown bulk detection limits of 10-8 RIU, which puts them at the same level of the Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), currently considered as the golden standard for the characterization of bio-recognition reactions. However, in order to reach practical detection levels close to the detection limit, it is necessary a controlled environment of temperature, vibration, etc…. is required, which makes the solution more expensive. Therefore, in order to develop the next generation of photonic biosensors suitable for PoC applications, it is necessary to provide the technique with greater robustness to baseline drift, which limits the potential of the technique. In this talk, recent results obtained with multimode interferometric solutions will be shown that can contribute to tackle this issue. On the other hand, results will be presented concerning camera based interrogation systems, which facilitate the interconnection between cartridge and reading instrument in highly multiplexed systems. The main LOD limitations derived from camera interrogation will be shown and guidelines will be given to optimize its operation.

An invited speaker presentation by professor Iñigo Molina, at Photonics & RF Lab, University of Málaga.

About Iñigo Molina-Fernandez
Iñigo Molina-Fernandez is full professor and leader of the Photonics&RF Lab. at University of Malaga, Spain. He is co-author of more than 150 international research papers in the field of integrated photonics and more than 10 patents. During the last years he has been working in subwavelength metamaterial waveguides (SWGs) for integrated photonics, and in highly sensitive silicon photonic biosensors for diagnosis and early treatment of diseases. He is co-founder of two spin-off companies BIOHERENT, which is developing in-vitro diagnosis systems for drug allergies based in photonic integrated circuits, and AGPhotonics, which is developing integrated photonic communication solutions.

About Photonics & RF Lab., University of Málaga
The Photonics & RF Research Lab is formed by more than 20 researchers including seniors and students and is part of the Research Institute of Telecommunication at Malaga University (TELMA).

The group has an applied orientation and is a relevant player in the field of integrated photonics in Spain, where it stands out for the quality of its scientific work in the fields of integrated transceivers for telecom/datacom, artificial metamaterials for photonics and sensing solutions. The group, which is recognized by its training capacity, regularly offers training scholarships for students wishing to carry out frontier R&D activities in the photonics field.

The group is founder and promoter of BIOHERENT, a 2021 ‘spin-off’ in the field of In Vitro Diagnostics solutions for drug allergies, based in integrated photonics solutions. It is currently promoting another Technology-based Company.

For more information visit the website.

Professor Iñigo Molina-Fernandez is invited speaker at the 2024 edition of the European Conference on Integrated Optics.

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