Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp 2314–2336 | Cite as

Recent Advances on Luminescent Enhancement-Based Porous Silicon Biosensors

  • S. N. Aisyiyah Jenie
  • Sally E. Plush
  • Nicolas H. VoelckerEmail author
Expert Review


Luminescence–based detection paradigms have key advantages over other optical platforms such as absorbance, reflectance or interferometric based detection. However, autofluorescence, low quantum yield and lack of photostability of the fluorophore or emitting molecule are still performance-limiting factors. Recent research has shown the need for enhanced luminescence-based detection to overcome these drawbacks while at the same time improving the sensitivity, selectivity and reducing the detection limits of optical sensors and biosensors. Nanostructures have been reported to significantly improve the spectral properties of the emitting molecules. These structures offer unique electrical, optic and magnetic properties which may be used to tailor the surrounding electrical field of the emitter. Here, the main principles behind luminescence and luminescence enhancement-based detections are reviewed, with an emphasis on europium complexes as the emitting molecule. An overview of the optical porous silicon microcavity (pSiMC) as a biosensing platform and recent proof-of-concept examples on enhanced luminescence-based detection using pSiMCs are provided and discussed.


biosensors europium luminescence enhancement microcavity porous silicon 





One-dimensional space




Silver nanoparticles

ALn, BLn

Constants for a given lanthanide in the determination of the inner sphere hydration number






Gold nanoparticles




Type of photosensitiser




Complementary strand of deoxyribonucleic acid


Cadmium selenide/zinc sulfide


Chemical exchange saturation transfer


Hydrocarbon group






Cobalt ion


Chemiluminescence energy transfer

Cy3-DNA, Cy5-DNA

Cyanine labeled deoxyribonucleic acid




Porous silicon film thickness

D07FJ, J =0-4

Transition of the electronic states of the europium ion


Deuterated water


Distributed Bragg reflectors


Dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassay


Deoxyribonucleic acid




1,4,7,10-tetraaza-cyclotetradecane-1,4,7-triacetic acid


Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid


Dysprosium ion


Energy state


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Europium nanoparticles for signal enhancement of antibody microarrays


Europium ion

Eu[tc] complex

Europium tetracycline complex

Eu-PyDC complex

Europium pyridine-3-5-dicarboxylic acid complex




Fluorescein isothiocyanate




Femtomoles per liters

F-P filters

Fabry-Pérot filters


Fluorescence resonance energy transfer


Full width at half maximum


Glucose oxidase

H layer

High refractive index layer


Valence band holes






Hydrogen peroxide


Hexafluorosilicic acid


Hydrofluoric acid


Horseradish peroxidase


Human serum albumin


Homogeneous time resolved fluorescence




Immunoglobulin G


Potassium peroxymonosulfate


Non-radiative decay rate

L layer

Low refractive index layer

L mol−1 cm−1

Molar absorptivity


L-lactate dehydrogenase


Lanthanide ion


Luminescent oxygen channeling immunoassay


Limit of detection


Spectral order




Matrix metalloproteinase


Magnetic resonance imaging


Eu(III)-4′-(10-methyl-9-anthryl)-2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine-6,6″-diyl]bis(methylenenitrilo) tetrakis(acetate)


Refractive index


Reduced form of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide


Reduced form of nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate




Nanograms per liters


Nanograms per milliliters


Amine group


Near infra-red






Singlet oxygen


Hydroxyl group


Hydroxyl radical


Paramagnetic CEST agents


Plaque-forming units per milliliters


picograms per millimeters squared


Acidity numeric scale






Photomultiplier tube


Parts per million


Prostate specific antigen


Porous silicon coupled microcavity


Porous silicon


Porous silicon microcavity


Quantum dots


Quality factor of the porous silicon microcavity


Quantum yield of a molecule in close proximity to a metal


Radiative decay engineering

Rhodamine B

9-(2-carboxyphenyl)-6-diethylamino-3-xanthenylidene]-diethylammonium chloride


Reactive oxygen species


Ground state of electrons


Excited singlet state of electrons


Surface enhanced fluorescence


Surface enhaced Raman scattering




Silicic acid


Silver island films


Silicon oxide


Samarium ion


Surface plasmon resonance


Single strand of deoxyribonucleic acid


Single walled carbon nanotubes


Excited triplet state of electrons


Terbium ion


Thermal carbonisation


1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclo-tetradecane-1,4,8,11-tetraacetic acid


Thermal hydrocarbonisation




Tri-n-octylphosphine oxide


Conjugated base of 2-theonyltrifluoroacetone






Zinc ion


Nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide




Microfluidic enzyme immunoassay


Micrometers or microns






Luminescence lifetime


Luminescence lifetime of a molecule in close proximity to a metal



The authors would like to acknowledge the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (project number CE140100036). SNAJ would like to thank the Australian Government for the Australia Award Scholarship and acknowledge funding from the Wound Management Innovation CRC (Australia).

Supplementary material

11095_2016_1889_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (106 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 106 kb)
11095_2016_1889_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (121 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 120 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. N. Aisyiyah Jenie
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sally E. Plush
    • 2
  • Nicolas H. Voelcker
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, Future Industries InstituteUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy and Medical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Research Centre for ChemistryIndonesian Institute of Sciences, PUSPIPTEKTangerangIndonesia
  4. 4.AdelaideAustralia

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